South African head coach, Hugo Broos, has emphasized that the battle for third place in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will largely be a mental one. The Bafana Bafana are set to face the Democratic Republic of Congo in the third-place match at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Saturday.
After suffering a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat to Nigeria in the semi-finals, Broos believes that the key to securing third place will be how his team mentally recovers from the heartbreaking loss. He expressed that South Africa played a very good game against Nigeria and showed that they are a great team. Despite the disappointment of their defeat, Broos remains confident in his team’s abilities.
According to Broos, the mental recovery of both teams will be crucial in determining the outcome of the third-place match. He acknowledged that it was difficult for both South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo to cope with the disappointment of their respective semi-final defeats, and it will be a test of mental strength for both sides in the upcoming game.
Broos reflected on South Africa’s performance against Nigeria, describing it as a great display by the team. He expressed that exiting the tournament after such a strong performance was a huge disappointment, but he remains optimistic about the team’s potential. He highlighted the importance of mental recovery for both teams as they prepare for the third-place match on Saturday.