In a captivating showdown at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Bafana clinched a 2-1 victory over Benin in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier clash.
The key to their success? A formidable alliance forged by head coach Hugo Broos, who strategically fielded seven players from Mamelodi Sundowns in the starting line-up.
The dynamic display saw Percy Tau and Khuliso Mudau finding the net in both halves on Saturday, propelling Bafana to the top of their qualifying group. The post-match press conference witnessed contrasting sentiments from the rival coaches, offering a glimpse into the factors that shaped the outcome.
Benin’s head coach, Gernot Rohr, acknowledged the undeniable chemistry among the Sundowns players, emphasizing the advantage of having a cohesive block from a single club. Rohr admitted, “When you have a block of six or seven players from one big club, it’s always easiest to play a good collective game.”
"Don’t make a story of that with me, whether it’s a Sundowns player, Pirates player or a Chippa player or whatever."— iDiski Times (@iDiskiTimes) November 20, 2023
Hugo Broos says he’s not fussed about how many Mamelodi Sundowns players are in his Bafana Bafana team after Gernot Rohr’s recent claim. https://t.co/K1eh4ihWzy pic.twitter.com/f2wG1bov8o
Despite facing unexpected challenges, such as the departure of defender Olivier Verdon due to a family tragedy, Rohr refused to let it serve as an excuse, conceding that “South Africa was the better team.”
On the flip side, Bafana’s tactician, Hugo Broos, downplayed the significance of individual club affiliations. In a post-match press conference, he stated, “Whether it’s a Sundowns player, Pirates player, or a Chippa player, it’s not important. What is important is that I have a team to win.”
Broos highlighted the adaptability of his squad, underlining that victory was a collective effort that extended beyond the Sundowns contingent.
Looking ahead, Bafana face Rwanda in their second qualifier clash at Huye Stadium on Tuesday. Broos remains focused on the task at hand, maintaining that the key to success lies in the collective strength of the team rather than individual affiliations.