2026 World Cup Qualifiers: South Africa’ Broos confident in upsetting Nigeria amid injury woes

AFCON 2023: South Africa coach Broos sets target after announcing final 23-man squad

The head coach of South Africa’s national men’s team, Hugo Broos, is confident his side can defeat Nigeria when the two nations meet in a crucial matchday 3 encounter in the African qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup this week.

The Belgian, who has been in charge of Bafana Bafana since 2021, expressed his confidence that his team can get the job done despite a number of key players suffering from injuries, with trusted defender Grant Kekana already out of the tie with a hamstring problem.

While speaking to the media in Soweto on Tuesday, the 72-year-old said despite the injuries in the squad, his side will fight hard against the Super Eagles and ensure they pip Nigeria to the World Cup ticket, with the two teams currently behind Rwanda in Group C.

“We all saw the cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Mbombela over the weekend, so it’s no surprise we have injuries,” Broos said. “Grant Kekana left the camp this [Tuesday] morning due to a hamstring injury and has been replaced by Given Msimango of Kaizer Chiefs.”

“We also have injuries among Sundowns players like Khuliso Mudau and Ronwen Williams, among others. However, we are hopeful that after the medical department’s assessment, they will be fit. It’s still a concern, though.”

Bross, who led South Africa to a third-place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) earlier this year, also appreciated the country’s football association for their strive in ensuring the team enjoys great amenities.

“Travelling across Africa is challenging, with long flights and road journeys to remote locations,” he stated. “We are travelling to Nigeria by charter flight, thanks to a significant financial effort by SAFA to ensure we are rested and ready to face Nigeria on their home turf. I want to thank them immensely.

Bafana Bafana are expected to touchdown Nigeria today (Wednesday), and they will face the Eagles on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, at 8 p.m. local time.

Broos’ men will then return home, where they will face the Warriors of Zimbabwe four days later, on Tuesday, June 11, at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.


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