Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has explained why he changed his starting XI and included Siyanda Xulu in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final defeat to Nigeria.
The Belgian tactician had selected the same starting line-up and formation for the previou four games but opted to switch against the Super Eagles.
Xulu, who had started the 2-0 defeat to Mali before being replaced by Grant Kekana, returned to the XI, as Broos changed his formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 5-4-1, with Broos explaining they wanted to limit Nigeria’s wingers.
“I think we naturalised completely Nigeria with the way we played,” he explained.
“We chose to play with three [central] defenders because we knew there was a danger with two wingers who play inside – Lookman and Simon.
“We had to react to find a solution for that. And the best solution was to put another central defender. And I think we succeeded.
“Because when you see the dominance we had in the first half, not only with defending but also in attack. Also, the way we build up, the way we played, I saw the coach of Nigeria many times doing this (pointing fingers) ‘Go back, go back’, because they were afraid. They couldn’t, they couldn’t recuperate the ball.
“So we played very good. So that means that the tactical choice was good. After the 1-0 we changed because we had to take risk.
“And okay, we could score that goal. And everything was good. Except two minutes before the end of the 90 minutes we had three chances. Three big chances! So we could kill Nigeria.
“We didn’t do it. That’s a petty we didn’t do it and then okay, you have the penalties. It’s a lottery. You can buy big clubs and 20 years having no winning and then suddenly you win. This the same with penalties we won four days ago. We lose it today.”
Hugo Broos still believes that the squad he selected worked very hard to the reach the semi finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.