The South Africa head coach, Hugo Broos, has confirmed that one of his star players, Thapelo Masko, won’t be available for the 2023 AFCON semi-final game against Nigeria on Wednesday.
Thapelo Masko, who plays for South African Premier League Soccer club, Mamelodi Sundowns, suffered a hamstring injury in the quarter-finals clash with Cape Verde, which the Bafana Bafana won via penalties.
In the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, coach Bross declared that the winger would not play a part in the remaining part of the competition.
“A little update about the injured player, Thapelo Maseko – he has a muscle injury, grade 3”, the coach said ahead of the game which which will kick off at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake by 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“But he stays with us, he doesn’t go to South Africa, and we won’t replace him.
“There is trouble with visa and the flight, and if we should replace him, this player will only arrive Thursday, or worst case, Friday.
“So we don’t want to do that, even if we have no opportunities to solve the problem in the group. Thapelo will not be replaced but the tournament for him is finished.”
Meanwhile, South African goalkeeper, Rowen Williams, who saved four penalties in the team’s quarter-final win over Cape Verde, has insisted that statistics don’t play football.
He stated this when reporters reminded him that South Africa hasn’t defeated the Super Eagles in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Stats don’t play the game. You know many statistics that were against us in this tournament, and we proved that stats don’t play the game,” the goalkeeper said on Tuesday.
“So, what has happened in the past, we can’t change that, but what we can change is tomorrow’s result, tomorrow’s performance. So we don’t look at that because that can’t change now.
“We control what we can control and that is tomorrow’s performance and tomorrow’s result.”
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