Williams says Bafana don’t see themselves as underdogs anymore

Written by on 26 March, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams says the AFCON Bronze medalists do not see themselves as underdogs anymore when they come up against the best teams on the continent, highlighting the confidence that has grown within Hugo Broos’ team in the past two years and a half years. South Africa is gearing up for their FIFA Series encounter against 2019 AFCON winners Algeria at the Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers on Tuesday. The clash will be South Africa’s second encounter of the new FIFA series pilot project, as they played a 1-1 draw against lowly ranked side Andorra last week.

Hugo Broos’ side is still brimming with confidence after putting in solid performances to capture bronze at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’Ivoire, their best performance in 24 years at the continental showpiece event. From the seven opponents that South Africa faced at AFCON, four were ranked in the top ten in Africa. They beat a top ranked Moroccon side in the round of 16 (2-0), lost to Mali in the tournament opener (2-0), held Tunisia to a goalless draw in the group stages and lost to Nigeria (4-2) on penalties in the Semi finals of the tournament. Two months before the Cup of Nations South Africa held three-time AFCON winners Ivory Coast to a 1-1 draw on enemy territory in Abidjan.

Williams believes his team has grown in leaps and bounds since the Belgian coach took over almost three years ago, growth which has improved the confidence in the team as they do not see themselves as under dogs when they lock horns with the best in Africa.

“In a few years we have done extremely well you know, we have beaten big nations away, we have qualified in difficult circumstances,” said Williams speaking to SAFA.net.

“There is so much to this Bafana Bafana group that when we go away to Morocco we go with a positive mindsdet. When we go away to now Algeria we are positive, we don’t see ourselves as underdogs anymore. Even when we went away to Ivory Coast not too long ago, in October, we gave a good performance and a good account of ourselves,” Williams added.

The South African skipper, who could feature against Algeria after sitting out of the Andorra match,  has also expressed his hapiness about the growing support the national team is receiving from the country after their impressive performances in Cote D’Ivoire, which is something he believes the players have been yearning for.

“The support we are getting back at home you know that’s what we do it for, that’s what we have been crying about you know but it goes hand in hand with performances,” said Williams.

“We had to perform as a team we had to do well, and we done that now at the past AFCON, and now you can see the interest in Bafana Bafana is back and long may it continue.”

Picture: SAFA.net


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