Hugo Broos bemoans lack of clinical goal scorers as Bafana held by European minnows

Hugo Broos bemoans lack of clinical goal scorers as Bafana held by European minnows
Elias Mokwana of Sekhukhune United scored on debut for Bafana Bafana against Andorra. (Photo: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

In their first bit of action since the Africa Cup of Nations in February, Bafana Bafana were frustrated during a 1-1 draw versus Andorra, a country ranked almost 100 places below them.

Earlier this year the number of shock results at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) demonstrated that the world rankings system does not necessarily dictate the outcome of football matches.

Regardless, Bafana Bafana would have expected to glide comfortably past European minnows Andorra when the pair tussled during a friendly. Instead, they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Sekhukhune United midfielder Elias Mokwana scored on his international debut to help salvage a draw for South Africa. This after goalkeeper Ricardo Goss, deputising for the rested Ronwen Williams, miscontrolled a back pass early in the game and allowed Ricard Fernández to land the first blow for Andorra.

Debutant Mokwana equalised midway through the first stanza with a well-taken goal. However, despite hogging 80% of ball possession and creating numerous chances — Bafana Bafana could not find the winning goal.

As for Andorra, they arrested a five-game losing streak and scored their first goal since June 2023.

The clash, which took place in Algeria on Thursday night, was organised by Fifa as part of a biennial series of matches aimed at bolstering the appeal of international friendlies and encouraging national teams from different confederations, who do not normally play each other, to face off.

Following their bronze-medal winning Afcon display, South Africa were confident that they could earn a morale-boosting win against Andorra. After all, the Europeans are ranked a lowly 168 in the world, compared to Bafana (who are currently ranked 58th). It was not to be.

“It showed again [that there is] a problem for South African football. We don’t really have that scorer. The guy who has one chance and scores a goal. If you see the chances we had today… But we only scored once. This is a game that you should win if you are more aggressive and have more quality in front of goal,” Bafana Bafana Hugo Broos said after the game.

Hugo Henri Broos, Bafana

Hugo Henri Broos, head coach of South Africa. (Photo: Didier Lefa/Gallo Images)

After much external pressure from South Africans to include Cape Town City striker Khanyisa Mayo in the national team fold, Broos caved in and roped in the forward. The 25-year-old is one the leading scorers in this season’s DStv Premiership campaign.

Mayo failed to live up to the hype, with Andorra being the perfect platform for him to showcase his goalscoring prowess, while ensuring that Broos does not ignore him in future.

For this game, Broos had to do without the Mamelodi Sundowns contingent that was integral to Bafana Bafana’s most memorable Afcon showing in 24 years. Masandawana stars such as Williams, Themba Zwane and Teboho Mokoena arrived late owing to the fact that they played on the same day that Bafana Bafana travelled to Algeria.

Nevertheless, debutants such as Mokwana, plus Orlando Pirates duo Tapelo Xoki and Patrick Maswanganyi were decent during an overall under-par showing by South Africa.

“Okay, we gave a goal away very easily. But if you see the chances we had after that, six or seven good chances to score… Even with that little present we gave to Andorra, we could have won the game,” Broos stated.

“But I’m satisfied. Not by the result, I would have liked to win. But I’m satisfied with the performance of this totally new team. I’m certainly satisfied with some players,” the Belgian added.

Next on the menu for Broos and his men is a clash with Algeria on Tuesday, 26 March. There the Bafana Bafana coach will likely call on the players that have continuously proven their quality and worth to him.

Especially as against Desert Foxes, the lethargy shown against Andorra will be preyed upon if it is present. DM 


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