The southern African giants had a memorable tournament after reaching the semifinals for the first time in 24 years
South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has expressed his disappointment at not leading the Bafana Bafana to the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, Soccernet.ng reports.
Broos insists Nigeria did not do enough to make it to the final of the AFCON at the expense of the Bafana Bafana.
South Africa lost 4-2 on penalties to Nigeria at the Stade la Plaix on Wednesday after scores in regulation and extra time stood at one-all.
The Bafana Bafana had the better of the chances in the first half of the encounter, calling goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali to action several times.
However, Nigeria took the lead after the hour mark via a William Troost-Ekong penalty, following excellent work from Victor Osimhen.
South Africa equalised on the stroke of full-time from a penalty as well, and they had further chances to nick the win late in the game.
Still, Nigeria stood strong and kept their nerves during the shootout to win 4-2 and advance to their first final since 2013.
Coach Broos, however, believes South Africa deserved to be in the final instead.
“Football can be hard,” the Belgian tactician said after the game.
“When you see the performance of my team today and then there is penalties and you lose the game, you’re not in the final, it’s hard to accept that, because we played a very good game today.
“I think we were the best team in the first half, we had the best chances. Nigeria didn’t have one chance, no, nothing. Second half, ok, they had a few chances and scored.
“But then we changed something tactically and we could come back but two minutes before the end of the 90 minutes we had again three chances. So if we could score there, it’s us going to the final and not Nigeria.
“Ok, that can happen in football. It’s a big disappointment for everyone because we feel that we played a very good game today, that we played a very good AFCON.
“I’m very, very proud of it. I’m proud of my players. The disappointment is this, but the proudness is that.”
South Africa will trade tackles with DR Congo in the third-place match on Saturday, while Nigeria will meet hosts Cote d’Ivoire in the title decider the following day.