Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says he will not underestimate Zimbabwe ahead of their opening 2022 Fifa World Cup Group G qualifier on Friday.
South Africa are set to renew their rivalry with Zimbabwe when the two sides square off at the National Sports Stadium in Harare before playing hosts to Ghana at the FNB Stadium on Monday.
Broos is expecting a tough clash against their Southern African rivals but is looking forward to take points away from home to kick start their campaign.
“Derbies are always tough, for both teams. We’re playing away, though the stands will be empty, which is good for us, as there’s a big difference between playing in front of a crowd in Harare and playing without one,” Broos told the Fifa website.
“That doesn’t mean to say that we’re going to underestimate our opponents, though. I’ve seen Zimbabwe’s games in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, against Algeria, for example. They’re a strong side and it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll just try to focus on what we can do.
“We wouldn’t be athletes if we didn’t have the aim of reaching the World Cup. We want to go through, even though we’re in tough group and up against teams who are at their peak, while we’re at the start of a rebuilding process.
“We’ll fight, though, and do what we can to qualify. All the same, African qualifying competitions are very challenging.
“First you’ve got to win your group and then you’ve got to win a play-off tie, which means that five of the group winners won’t make it to the world finals. That just shows how tough these qualifiers are.”
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