Johannesburg - Siyabonga Sangweni insists Bafana Bafana have plenty to be proud
of, despite their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final exit on
According to the football411.com website, the host nation were dumped out of this year's continental
showpiece at the weekend after going down to Mali 3-1 in the penalty
shoot-out after 120 minutes had ended 1-1.
Orlando Pirates defender Sangweni, though, believes South Africa
showed plenty of determination throughout the tournament, and hopes
their showing can prove a catalyst for a new era for the team.
"We obviously wanted to go as far as the final but it was always
going to be tough," the centre-back told Pirates' official website.
"We were up against stiff competition but despite that we were
able to hold our own. Losing on penalties can happen to any team, that's
why I believe we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.
"If we focus on the positives, I believe this moment can be the turning point for the national team."
Sangweni was also full of praise for the South African public,
which gave their full backing to the side from the very first match of
"The support we had throughout the competition was amazing. In
fact, it (the support) grew with every match we played which only means
that the nation was beginning and probably still believing that we are
on the right track," he enthused.
Sangweni knows Bafana will now need to put their continental
heartbreak behind them and shift their focus to the 2014 World Cup
He added: "Now we have to keep things together and work hard to
get to Brazil in 2014 - we have a tough outing to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
and we have to prepare very well for it. Let us just hope that we get a
great run in these World Cup qualifiers."