Bafana Bafana

Igesund pleased with Bafana

2013-07-13 22:02
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund is happy with his side's performance after they advanced to the semi-finals of the Cosafa Cup after defeating Namibia 2-1 at the Nkoloma Stadium in Zambia on Saturday.

Two second half goals from Jabulani Shongwe and Hlompho Kekana were enough to see South Africa go through and will face either Zambia or Mozambique in the last four.

This was as good start for Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund after a disastrous preparation which saw several players pull out of the squad which travelled to Zambia.

"This game was very important to us because our preparation was not very ideal," said Igesund.

"We only had two training sessions here in Zambia but the boys did very well.

"It was tough out there and you could see that we needed to work together more because at times our game was disjointed -- reason being it was the first time this team played together.

"We are happy to be in the next round of this tournament, and with more hard work I believe we will get better as a team."

The experience of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, who was the captain, as well Hlompho Kekana, Lerato Chabangu and Mzikayise Mashaba helped the team on the day, while the duo of debutants Buhle Mkhwanazi and Tshepo Gumede were solid and played like seasoned campaigners.

Sibusiso Khumalo was substituted in the first half in a tactical move by Igesund, bringing on Ruzaigh Gamildien to add more numbers forward.

Not only did South Africa take control, Gamildien was also chosen Man of the Match.

Shongwe came on at the start of the second half for SA and made his mark just four minutes later, his powerful shot not stopped by the Namibia goalkeeper -- giving Bafana Bafana a one-nil lead.

Kekana's experience showed when he collected a ball at the edge of the opposition box to fire home a cracker of a two nil lead in the 71st minute.

Namibia was fortunate to be awarded a penalty after Shongwe was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.

Second-half substitute Willy Stephanus converted after a retake --Sandilands had saved the initial shot which was judged to have moved before the kick was taken.

But it was not enough to derail South Africa's mission to get into the next round.

In an effort to get more goals, Igesund brought on striker Katlego Mashego for the exhausted Chabangu, but the score line remained the same.

SA play their next match on Wednesday, July 17 at the Levy.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  cosafa cup  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer
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