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AFCON: ‘We were unlucky against Nigeria’, SA coach Broos laments

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Head coach of the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Hugo Broos, has lamented his team’s ouster by Nigeria in the semifinal of the 2023 Africa Nations Cup.

Broos, who spoke to CAF online on Thursday, said his side played better against Nigeria in Wednesday’s thrilling encounter and deserved to win, but were unlucky to lose 2-4 on penalty kicks.

“Football can be hard sometimes, when you look at the performance of my team, and then there were the penalty kicks. Then you lose the penalty shootout and you are not in the finals,” a bitter Broos said.

“It’s hard to accept that, because we played a very good game. I think we were the best team in the first half, we got the best chances, Nigeria didn’t have any chance.

“In the second half, they had few chances which resulted in a goal and we changed something tactically, and we came back.”

The Belgian gaffer emphasized that his team created more chances, adding that if they had scored, they would have been in the final and not Nigeria.

“It’s a big disappointment for everyone, and we believe we played a very good game, not just today but throughout the tournament.

“I’m proud of my players. The disappointment is in not being in the final, but the pride is in having performed well,” he said as his team looks ahead to the third place match against DR Congo on Saturday.

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Kelvin Kiptum: Autopsy reveals late Marathon record holder died from head injuries

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An autopsy carried out by the Kenyan government has revealed that late world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, died from severe head injuries in a ghastly road accident on February 11.

Kenya’s chief government pathologist, Johanssen Odour, told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday that the injuries were consistent with those suffered in motor vehicle accidents.

The 24-year-old rising star died in a car accident alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana in killed in a late-night accident near his home in north-western Kenya.

According to a release by his family, Kiptum will be laid to rest on Friday at his home village, Chepkorio in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, in what is expected to be a state event.

Kiptum rose to fame when he became a world marathon record holder when he set a time of 2:00:35 in the Chicago Marathon in October last year after switching to running the marathon from shorter distance races a year before.

At the London Marathon, he set a record pace and improved his personal best time by 50 seconds to beat the 2:01:09 record set by fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, widely considered the greatest marathoner of all time.

Kiptum broke the course record for the London Marathon, winning the men’s event in the second-fastest marathon in history, crossing the finish line in two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.

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CAF unveils preliminary round draws for 2025 AFCON finals

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled the preliminary round of draws for the 35th edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) which will hold in Morocco in 2025.

The draws which took place Tuesday at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt on Monday, saw the participation of the eight lowest-ranked teams in the latest FIFA ranking.

The first leg of fixtures scheduled to be played on a home and away basis between March 20 and 26, 2024, will Somalia face off against Eswatini in Somalia, Sao Tome will take on South Sudan in Sao Tome, Chad will play against Mauritius in Chad, and Djibouti will take on Liberia in Djibouti.

The hosting is reversed in the second leg, with Eswatini will hosting Somalia, South Sudan will welcome Sao Tome, Mauritius will play host to Chad, and Liberia will have the home advantage against Djibouti.

The winners of the preliminary round matches will advance to join the 44 exempted teams for the group stage of the tournament, with only 24 teams ultimately qualifying for the AFCON 2025 finals.

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