Bafana were best in the first half
South Africa coach Hugo Broos believes his team should have scored especially in the first half where they had several chances.
“I think we were the best team in the first half, we had the best chances,” the Belgian told the media at the end of the game.
“Nigeria didn’t have [even] one chance [in the first half]. No! Nothing. [In the] second half, they had a few chances and scored.
“But then we changed something tactically and came back but two minutes before the end of the 90 minutes we had three chances again.”
“I am very, very proud of it, I am proud of my players; the disappointment is [failing to reach the final], but the proudness is that,” the Belgian who helped Cameroon win the 2017 edition added.
“What they performed, not only [on Wednesday] I think you have to be proud as a coach. Yes, it is a defeat and you see you played a very bad game against Cape Verde with penalties and [on Wednesday] you played a very good game against Nigeria and you lost on penalties.
“That’s also football, but again, we have only to think about the way we played this Afcon and I think everyone knows South Africa as a good playing team and that is the most important [thing].
Team performance lifted Nigeria
Chippa United goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was given the Man-of-the-Match Award for his heroics that helped the Super Eagles make the final.
“It has been a good team performance throughout this tournament [and] I really appreciate the management and coaches,” the 27-year-old stated after receiving his reward.
“These guys have really guided me a lot throughout this tournament, and I feel so happy.
“When the coach [Jose Peseiro] informed me he was coming to visit [at Chippa], for me it was one of the biggest things. A coach to come visit was a motivation. When he said he was coming I was really pleased.”
‘Football can be hard’
Broos rued the missed chances by Bafana especially in the first half and in the dying minutes of regulation time that may have taken his team to the final.
“Football can be hard; When you see the performance of my team today and then there are penalties and you lose the game! You’re not in the final, it’s hard to accept that because we played a very good game,” Broos said.
“So if we could score there, it’s us going to the final and not Nigeria, that can happen in football. It’s a big disappointment for everyone because we feel that we played a very good game that we played a very good Afcon.”
Nigeria deserved it
The Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro lauded Bafana Bafana for their performance before claiming his team and Nigerians at large deserved the win.
“South Africa are the most organised team in the tournament, but we were better in the penalty shootout,” the Portuguese said in the post-match presser.
“My players deserved it, the Nigerian people deserved it and the Super Eagles deserved the win. [Terem] Moffi and Kelechi Iheanacho came in with the same mentality like others and our team fought well.
“We did well in extra time