Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana's crushing 5-0 defeat by Brazil in a friendly at FNB Stadium on Wednesday would be used as a reference to rebuild the national side, said SAFA president Danny Jordaan.
Jordaan said South Africa had shown its failures when Wednesday's match was compared with the first time Gordon Igesund's Bafana faced the Brazilians in Sao Paulo in 2012, where the home side narrowly won 1-0.
"What we got out of last night is analysis and deep reflection for South African football to say why did we follow this path and what are the issues," Jordaan said on Thursday.
He said Brazil fielded a relatively young and inexperienced team when the two sides met in 2012.
"They had since grown into a side that were real contenders for the title when they host the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
"Last night, you saw the progression of that team, and the quality of their performance," Jordaan said.
"We had the same coach and more or less the same players losing 1-0 (in Sao Paulo), and last night, with more or less the same coach and the same players, losing 5-0.
"That is the path the two teams followed; the one will probably challenge to win the World Cup, and the other failed to qualify."
Jordaan said South Africa should now have learnt its lessons in the current cycle, from 2010 to 2014, to reconstruct a different path for the team going into the next one, which would end with the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"That is what last night gave us -- a good solid basis to reflect, internalise and reconstruct the goal for the next period," he said.
Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula reacted with greater diplomacy than when the host side crashed out of the Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, following a heavy 3-1 defeat against Nigeria in their final group A clash at Cape Town Stadium in January.
"What I saw there was not a problem of coaching, it was a bunch of losers, who don't have any respect for this country and don't have any respect for anybody," Mbalula said at the time.
He said he stuck by what he said about the team and believed the loss against Brazil should be a good indication of where Bafana were, and where the team needed to go.
Mbalula said South Africa had lessons to learn from the way Brazil had gone about their preparations ahead of this year's FIFA Soccer World Cup.
He said Brazil had built a national team from the ground up by developing their talent, and they had been focused and disciplined with a clear plan to be victorious when they host the global showpiece.
"South Africa has no crisis of talent; the question is, do we have a vision, do we have a plan to build a formidable side?" Mbalula said.
"We will support SAFA in the realisation of its objective; there has to be a firm foundation and discipline.
"We need many friendly... games and a clear plan to ensure that our national team is getting somewhere."