Bafana Bafana

Mashaba out to restore pride

2014-09-06 22:00
Shakes Mashaba (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba said part of his reconstruction process is to bring pride back to the senior men's national team, which he said had been dented of late.

As it happened: Sudan v Bafana Bafana

South Africa beat Sudan 3-0 in their opening Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on Friday, raising the nation's hopes again after years of below-par performances by the national team.

Mashaba said Bafana Bafana, as the torchbearers, had to lead the way.

"Of late, Bafana Bafana had become a laughing stock and had lost credit within the football standing, and we need to restore that acclaim.

"We must bring back the pride to our national team and I am glad with the 3-0 win away from home. It is a beginning of that rebuilding process."

The Bafana Bafana mentor, who left the Under-20 position to concentrate on the senior team, said the 3-0 win over Sudan in Khartoum on Friday was a great platform to build good things.

"Once we weathered the storm in the opening minutes, in which they pumped long balls up front, I knew we would achieve our goal of coming away with three points.

"And the boys stuck to the script.

"In the second half, we completely dominated the game and, with clinical finishing, the scoreline could have been six, seven or eight.

"But the 3-0 win is quite encouraging and we need to maintain the momentum."

Dean Furman and Andile Jali controlled the midfield with aplomb, while up front Sibusiso Vilakazi who came on as a second-half substitute for Tokelo Rantie, scored two important goals.

However, Mashaba refused to single out any individuals for praise.

"I think the entire team played well and it will be unfair to single out individuals.

"It was a great team effort and I think all (the) players deserve praise."

Bafana Bafana arrived back in the country on Saturday morning and proceeded to Cape Town to start preparing for their game against Nigeria at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.

"We are meeting our nemesis but my gut feel is that all that (losing against African champions) is about to change. Wednesday should be a defining moment," Mashaba said.

Kick-off on Wednesday is at 20:00.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  shakes mashaba  |  soccer

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Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

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