AFCON 2023: South Africa, DR Congo Seek Redemption

  • In today’s 3rd place clash at Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium
Hugo Broos (l) and Sebastien Desabre (r)

Bafana Bafana of South Africa and Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo will today seek to finally bow out in style at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 as they trade tackles to determine the third and fourth-placed teams at this year’s tournament.

Both sides were knocked out of the title race at the semi-final stage where Bafana Bafana lost 4-2 on penalties after a pulsating 1-1 draw with Nigeria’s Super Eagles, while DR Congo lost by a slim 1-0 margin against hosts, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.

Though the two sides may still be ruminating over their disappointments with the semi-final exit, the third and fourth-place play-off presents a perfect opportunity for either side to go home with the consolation of being the continent’s third-best team of the competition.

Kick-off time at Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium is at 20:00.

Meanwhile, DR Congo manager Sebastien Desabre, who was left ruing missed opportunities as his side’s TotalEnergies CAF AFCON dream died against Cote d’Ivoire, says their attention is fully on securing third place against South Africa today.

According to the Frenchman; “We are competitors, we need to quickly regroup. We have a match on Saturday (today) to secure third place”.

On his part, the Head coach of South Africa, Hugo Broos admits the fight for a bronze medal will be more of a mental battle than anything.

The Belgian tactician, who guided South Africa to their first semi-final since 2000, said the key to clinching a third place will be in how they mentally recover from the heart-breaking semi-final loss.

“We played a very good game against Nigeria. It was a great performance and we showed that we are a great team again. When you exit after 120 minutes, it’s always a huge disappointment. When you play so well, the disappointment is so big. The game today is special. It depends a bit on which team will be mentally recovered because also for DRC, it was difficult to lose like that”, Broos said.

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