South Africa coach Hugo Broos admitted he took great satisfaction from his side’s TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations semi-final qualification after years of pessimism surrounding Bafana Bafana.
Broos guided the 1996 champions past Cape Verde on penalties on Saturday to set up a last four clash with Nigeria.
The Belgian believes the achievement can boost South African football after many had written off their chances before the tournament.
“Many people in South Africa didn’t believe in this team but we believed, and the players believed in themselves,” Broos stated after the quarter-final win.
“Reaching the semi-finals is great for South African football which has struggled in recent years.”
Broos reserved special praise for goalkeeper Ronwen Williams whose shootout heroics were key to victory.
“When you have a keeper who saves four penalties it’s not luck. He was man of the match today,” said Broos.
The coach also acknowledged the difficult task awaiting South Africa against a star-studded Nigeria side boasting the likes of Ademola Lookman.
But he insisted his squad will be ready for Wednesday’s showdown after banishing past doubts over their quality.
“The semi-final will be tough against Nigeria’s great players but we have nothing to lose now,” Broos stated.
“The players will recover and prepare, but staying focused is essential.”
After years in the doldrums, South Africa are daring to dream again thanks to Broos’ vision and belief.