Bafana take lessons from France defeat ahead of AFCON qualifiers

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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says it was important that his team plays against a team of World champions France’s quality ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

And despite the team suffering one of its heaviest defeats losing by five goals to nil, the Belgian mentor says he’s happy with the experience the players gained.

Goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams says they need to improve their defence ahead of the AFCON qualifiers which start in June.

Playing against the number three ranked side in the world was always going to be tough for the 68th-ranked Bafana Bafana. But the South Africans looked compact in the first 20 minutes and kept the Mercurial Kyllian Mbappe and Antoine Griezman at bay.

However, the difference in quality between the sides became obvious after Griezmann found Mbappe unmarked in the box with the talisman scoring.

“For me, it was important to play against such a team to have the experience and to learn from them. We knew that it would be very difficult and therefore I said already before the game that the result is not important. I saw new players in the team that was important for me for the qualifiers in June,” says Hugo Broos.

Bafana didn’t look like scoring on the night with Fagray Lakay, Lyle Foster and Bongokuhle Hlongwane not troubling France’s defence.

Golden Arrows’ Nkosinathi Sibisi and Orlando Pirates’ Bandile Shandu are some players who were given a run on the night.

“It was still a team till the end and this is very important too so the boys fight for it and again like Foster it was very difficult for him but for me he played a good game there were a few others and certainly the new ones I am happy with them,” Broos explains.

It was the second time that Williams had conceded five goals in a Bafana shirt with the first time being in 2014 when Bafana lost by the same margin to Brazil.

“Obviously no goalkeeper wants to concede so many goals but then this is high quality players that you’re playing against. We don’t face this every week in the PSL so that’s something that we need to work on,” says Ronwen Williams.

The camp should have given Broos a clear picture of what they need to do to have a successful AFCON qualification campaign as nothing less than qualifying will make South Africans happy.