AFCON

Igesund curbs excitement

2013-01-25 10:14
Gordon Igesund (File)
Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has warned his players not to get carried away with Wednesday's victory over Angola in the side’s second match of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Bafana defeated Angola 2-0 and they did so in convincing fashion in a dazzling show at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to jump to the top summit of the Group A standings with four points followed by Cape Verde and Morocco who have two points each. Angola have one point following their goalless draw with Morocco in their opening encounter. The match between Morocco and Cape Verde ended in a 1-1 draw.

South Africa next face Morocco in the final Group Stage match on Sunday, January 17 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium with Cape Verde and Angola clashing at the same time at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Final group matches are played simultaneously to avoid teams playing for a particular result.

"We won our second game, but we really can't get carried away with that, one win is not going to qualify us, we know what have to do next. We have a tough match against a strong Morocco side and we need to win that one,” said Igesund.

"We know what we need to do on Sunday. We can’t continue living in the past. We must start celebrating once we qualify for the quarter-finals.”

For the clash against Angola, Igesund made five changes to the team that played to a goalless draw with Cape Verde in the opening match of the tournament, and was the first to admit he took a gamble that worked well in the end.

Asked if he will change the starting XI again, Igesund said, “I have to give it a lot of thought. I was very happy with the team that started and I was happy with the team that finished, but obviously there is big difference now that we need a point.

"But I am not the kind of coach that will go out there and play defensive football. At the same time I can’t go out there and open up leaving us vulnerable for Morocco to score. We can’t take that risk because we can’t afford that. We want to make sure we qualify, so I will apply my mind properly but I won’t ring a lot of changes,” he said.

On the injury front, Kagiso Dikgacoi and Lerato Chabangu are back at full training with the rest of their team-mates after missing out on selection for the Angola game due to knee and groin injuries respectively. Lehlohonolo Majoro is still nursing the injury he sustained in the win over Angola, where he scored a goal.

Majoro is unlikely to feature against Morocco after receiving stitches to a deep cut on his calf.

“I will get a report tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday) about Kagisho Dikgacoi and Chabangu and I am hoping they are fit for Sunday, not because I want them to play but because I want more options. As for Majoro, even if he is fit, I don’t think I will take a risk on him. I won’t gamble on him because if the stitches open up again, we will be back to square one,” said Igesund.

"Also I don’t think it’s fair for me to put any player in a position where I can do further damage to him, so I will get a full report from the team doctor to see how the stitches have progressed, or if is far too early to use him. So for now, I don’t think the three players will be available.”

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer
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