Young Maritzburg United striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane was the hero for home team with his solitary strike propelling Bafana Bafana to the top of the Group G after their goalless draw against Zimbabwe last Friday.
“I am very proud and happy from what I saw on the pitch of my team. We made a big progress in one week from what I saw in Zimbabwe,” Broos said after his team’s second consecutive cleansheet.
“To have a cleansheet is very important because if you have a cleansheet you already have one point. Good organization and discipline is very important. We did that today and a little bit less against Zimbabwe. Today there was a lot of discipline when we lost the ball, the players did what they were asked to do, we had a cleansheet and we score the goal and we win.”
Twenty-one-year-old Hlongwane was not the only young player to stand out, with Broos also particularly pleased with defensive midfielder Ethan Brooks’s (20) contribution on the night.
“What I saw today, I saw a team with confidence who played a very good game. There was determination, there was a will to win, there was discipline and that is what I like.
“I will give young players a chance. I said that from the first day I arrived in South Africa. It is up to them to take the chance. Take Ethan Brooks for example. He had a very good game today. He took his chance. Over the next few months more young players will get a chance. That is something I would like to do in South Africa.
“We will see if we can go on like this and make progress like we did now in this week and we will see where we’ll be at the end of the race.”
Bafana’s next World Cup qualifying engagements are against Ethiopia – home and away – in early October and Broos believes only after navigating those encounters, particularly the clash in Addis Ababa, will he have a better idea of his team’s chances of reaching Qatar 2022.
“When you are in the qualifiers for Afcon or the World Cup, it is very important that you win your home games. Every point you lose in your home game is a point you have to get back outside. This is always more difficult.
“But if you want to finish first in the group, then you have to win outside. Otherwise it’s not possible. For the moment we do what we have to do. We now have two games against Ethiopia and we win those two, then we will be very close. This game gives us enormous confidence.”
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