TS Galaxy midfielder Bernard Parker remains faithful to Bafana Bafana and backs them to progress to the knockout stages of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast.
The Afcon kicks off on Saturday as hosts Ivory Coast cross swords with Guinea-Bissau Olympic Stadium in Abidjan. Bafana will play their Group E opener against a strong Mali side next week Tuesday.
South Africa face an uphill battle as they will also face off with favourites Tunisia. Peter Shalulile and Deon Hotto’s Namibia will be no pushovers as well. The Brave Warriors, who are loaded with SA-based players, have proven time to time to be tough customers.
Even so, international betting company BoyleSports tips Bafana to win their group and go far through the knockout stages.
In an interview with BoyleSports, 2023 Afcon partners, Parker said the world and entire African continent awaits a cosmic surprise from Bafana.
“The country that’s going to surprise the world in Africa is Bafana Bafana,” Parker said.
“I just have that feeling that they’re going to do some magic in this tournament. From what I’ve seen over the Afcon qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers, they’ve grown stronger.
“With that strength, I believe they’re going to surprise everybody in this tournament.”
Egypt tipped to reach final
According to BoyleSports, Bafana are longshots from reaching the final and ultimately lifting the prestigious Afcon trophy.
Although Parker is expecting Hugo Broos’ men to turn up the heat and cause upsets, he is sticking to his guns backing Bafana’s rivals Nigeria to come out top and be crowned as the African champions.
“The two great nations I believe that will be the finalists in the end [are] Nigeria and Egypt,” he said.
“But I will give Nigeria the edge with a 2-1 victory in the final,” he added.