By Velile Mnyandu
Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos says a win against neighbours Zimbabwe in their last game in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, at FNB stadium tonight (21:00) is non-negotiable.
Broos was speaking just before their match day minus one training session where they concluded their preparations for this game, as they aim to maintain their top spot in Group G ahead of the crucial and final game against Ghana at the Cape Coast on Sunday evening.
Bafana currently top Group G with 10 points, with Ghana a point behind and followed by Ethiopia (3) and Zimbabwe (1) who are already out of contention for the next stage. Only one team will proceed to the third and final play-off stage where the top 10 group winners will face off in March 2022, with the five winners representing Africa in Qatar in December 2022.
“We are in front of two very important games, last games of the qualifiers, group qualifies. From the two games, tomorrow is the most important. We all know that, if we don’t win the game tomorrow, we can be in trouble before we go to Ghana.
“So if we lose points, and Ghana wins the game, we can go to Ghana with one point behind or maybe more.
“And that should be the worst situation I could imagine now. So therefore, victory tomorrow is very important,” said Broos about the importance of this game.
Zimbabwe are coming to this game, minus the services of some of their key players like captain Knowledge Musona, French Ligue 1 based stars Tino Kadewere and Marshall Munetsi (former Orlando Pirates midfielder), US based defender Teenage Hadebe, also formerly of Kaizer Chiefs. And they will be captained by Chiefs attacker Khama Billiat, Broos still expects the opponents to be a formidable unit and they will not underestimate them at all.
“First of all, it’s Zimbabwe, the neighbors, you know how neighbors are, they like to win. So I think Zimbabwe tomorrow will like to win the game, even when they’re out of the race. But still, they play against South Africa.
“Second, if you see the selection of Zimbabwe, there are a lot of local players. So I think the coach will try something, it’s his last training games before the AFCON. So he will try and see which can go with him to AFCON in January,” concluded Broos on their approach to this game.
Catch Bafana Bafana and Zimbabwe action live on SABC 1, Open View Channel 124, DTT, TelkomOne and SABC radio stations.