Tuesday night’s Africa Cup of Nations last-16 match between Bafana Bafana and Morocco will require the former to go the Mamelodi Sundowns’ way, according to the legendary Lovers Mohlala.
Bafana made it to the tournament’s knockout round, where they will play the Atlas Lions of Morocco, the top-ranked nation in Africa.
Coach Hugo Broos‘s players, who are just starting to establish themselves in the tournament being held in Ivory Coast, have a mountain to climb.
Morocco made history when they became the first African nation to advance to the Fifa World Cup semifinals played in Qatar in 2022.
Stars from best football leagues
Superstars who compete in some of the best football leagues in Europe abound on their squad.
Mohlala, who had a distinguished career with the Brazilians, thinks the SA technical team should use the DStv Premiership champions’ playing style if they want to be fluid and outmanoeuvre the diligent Morocco players.
Sundowns have eight players in the Bafana starting line-up.
“Bafana have eight Sundowns players in the starting line-up; why are they not playing their style? It is not clever to implement another tactic or style when you have eight players from the league champions; it does not make sense,” said Mohlala.
“We can beat Morocco; my only worry is that players are giving away the ball too easily. If you give the ball away, you start chasing, you get frustrated and very tired, and the opponents will punish you, especially when it is top teams like Morocco.”
Have faith in African coaches
Mohlala, who earned nine caps for the senior national team, said the Afcon teams should have more faith in African coaches and refrain from bringing in European coaches who lack the necessary qualifications to lead in Africa.
He said: “Look at what happened with Ivory Coast on Monday; they had a disastrous group stage campaign and almost did not qualify for the last-16 round.
“After they advanced by sheer luck, they got rid of their French coach, Jean-Louis Gasset, and put in a local coach, Emerse Fae.
“Just look at how the team performed against champions Senegal; they were inspired and on top of their game.
“I think we need to employ our African coaches because European coaches are conflicted, and they are not here for the love of African football; they are here because of money.”