South African soccer legend, Marks Maponyane, believes that Bafana Bafana can go all the way and win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. Bafana registered a morale-boosting victory against the top-ranked team on the continent, Morocco, when they beat them 2-0 in a second-round match on Tuesday night. Bafana, who finished second in Group E, will attempt to overcome Cape Verde in the quarter-final match tomorrow.
Bafana Bafana started their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a disappointing 2-NIL loss against Mali. But they bounced back to crush Namibia 4-NIL in their second match and then fought bravely to draw with Tunisia in the last group match.
“When you want to win the tournament you have to beat the best and Morocco came to the tournament as the only team that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and number one in Africa. It was a big moment for SA and I never thought Bafana Bafana will beat Morocco on the night,” says Maponyane.
All the top five ranked teams on the continent have been eliminated in the AFCON. Maponyane says Bafana should not underestimate the remaining teams if they want to win the tournament.
Maponyane is expecting a tough encounter but says the team will be fired up for that match. I expect SA to come in as a confident lot after beating Morocco but I also respect Cape Verde and when I look at the record it’s very tight,” he adds.
Bafana coach Hugo Broos won the AFCON with Cameroon in 2017 with a young, inexperienced and unfancied team. Maponyane believes Broos’ experience is rubbing off onto the players.
Bafana will be hoping to go one step further and reach the semi-finals after being knocked out in the quarterfinals in the last AFCON in 2019.
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