Mongomo - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba said the team was disappointed with their 3-1 loss to Algeria, in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, but he urged them not to despair and said they will bounce back.
"We gave the game away. The best team lost after we created so many scoring opportunities in the first half," he said in Mongomo on Tuesday.
"We allowed them back into the match and we got punished. Lift your heads up because it is not over yet -- there are still six points to play for.
"We have a mountain to climb but we are still confident that we will do well in our next match."
Bafana squandered a one-goal lead, missing a penalty and scoring an own-goal which allowed Algeria back into the game.
Everything went downhill after the missed penalty but until that point, they had done well, he said.
Things also got messy at the back after defender Rivaldo Coetzee was stretchered off the field with an injury.
"Algeria was lucky to come back, and we had already lost focus when they clawed their way back," Mashaba said.
"We still have two games to go. We need to motivate the boys and bring them to their feet because understandably they are dejected.
"We lost our way at crucial times and the goals we let in were soft goals. The result has made our work more difficult because the remaining two games are must-wins."
Captain Dean Furman admitted it was not the kind of start they had wanted.
"We had worked hard for maximum points so the next two games are very crucial for us," Furman said.
"We have to lift our heads and go for a win and that's all we need. The good thing is that we played some outstanding football out there. We are just very disappointed not to come out with a win.
"We really played very well but did not convert our chances, something we will have to rectify before our next match."
Eric Mathoho and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who missed the first game through suspension, would be available for the next group match which is against Senegal on Friday at 9pm in Mongomo.