Pitso: It was a tough match

2011-06-06 12:55

hannesburg - Bafana Bafana arrived back home on Monday morning following their nerve-wrecking goalless clash against Egypt in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday at a packed Military Academy Stadium in Cairo.

GALLERY: Egypt v Bafana Bafana

Coach Pitso Mosimane admitted it was a tough match but that he was happy with a point nevertheless. But he also emphasised he had gone to Egypt for the maximum points and that was apparent from the manner in which the team approached the game.

It was very tactical match with both sides making fewer mistakes and had chances to score. But it was the South Africans who created better opportunities to score, Katlego Mphela coming very close in the first and second half. Perhaps the best chance for victory was missed by second half substitute Tlou Segolela.

The Orlando Pirates forward was set free by Letsholonyane, and with the goalkeeper to beat he blasted it against the big frame of El Hedari, deep into referees optional time.

At that time the South African bench was already on the edge of the field ready to celebrate, but it was not to be.

“These things happen, I know we could have wrapped it up but I am happy with a point. We obviously came here for maximum points but getting a point out of Cairo is not bad at all. We have always maintained that whatever happens we should return from here top of our group, and our objective has been achieved.

“It was a tough match I must give credit to my boys, they were much disciplined tactically and that is why Egypt could not trouble us too much. The nerves were there but they handled them with maturity. We have a good bunch here where there are no stars, each playing for the other, and that is where the spirit of winning starts. But make no mistake, Egypt has a good team, and very organised but I think this is not their time, it’s ours now,” said Mosimane.

Bafana Bafana are now eight points at the top after four matches, with two rounds left. They are followed by Niger who are six and Sierra Leone on four. The African champions Egypt are in danger of not qualifying and have amassed only two points. The only time they missed on qualifying was back in 1978.

Bafana’s next Afcon clash is in September against Niger away.

Due to injuries, Mosimane was forced to make four changes to the team that started against the North Africans in the first clash in March. Midfielder Andile Jali got his first start for Bafana Bafana in his sixth cap to close the gap left by Thanduyise Khuboni; Reneilwe Letsholonyane started in place of Steven Pienaar who was ruled out of the match a few hours before kick-off.

In defence Siyabonga Sangweni stood in for Bongani Khumalo alongside Morgan Gould, with Tsepo Masilela returning to the left back position following a long lay due to injury. Mosimane used Siboniso Gaxa in the last clash against Egypt at left back.

Siphiwe Tshabalala was handed the armband and became the highest capped member of the squad with 59 appearances for his country. Captain Steven Pienaar is on 58.

“It was a great honour for me to lead the team in the absence of Steven in this all-important match. Him being with us in Cairo really inspired all of us. Given a chance again I would do it. To get a draw in Cairo was just amazing and I believe we could have still won it. The boys worked their socks off and this was a well-deserved point, this team is growing in stature and we are clearly heading in the right direction. It was tough but worth it,” said Tshabalala.


  • Tsotsoma - 2011-06-06 13:22

    There is something wrong with CAF, how can they have a referee from North Africa in a very important game between North Africa and South Africa. .. I smell a rat...

      Point Blank - 2011-06-06 13:43

      Well sniff away because some of those calls were seriously dubious. Did you see all the lazers in Kune's eyes trying to put him off? Damn but some of those saves were sheer brilliance! Those Egyptians came at us with everything they had, brilliant defending guys, we should have won that 2 - 0..

      REVO - 2011-06-06 14:04

      When will soccer SA catch up to the level of SA Cricket and Rugby...come on have a selection of 45 Million surely you can do better than that?

      PSquare - 2011-06-06 14:21

      @ Revo You want them to be like the chockers? The Boks I understand but cricket???? That's the worst SA team by far

      REVO - 2011-06-06 14:24

      @PSquare ...well yeah, they may be chokers but aleast they held world ranking #1.

      Point Blank - 2011-06-06 14:55

      @Revo, we have a selection of 45 million??? Really?? Where!?

      Localfellow - 2011-06-06 15:11

      Revo, can we please be fair when we compare. Bafana has to play group games in Africa before they can get to the Africa Cup and then to the World Cup. I don't want to criticise rugby and cricket because they are good. The Proteas play 2 countries on the continent, worldwide, only a few countries compete. With rugby, who do they play on the continent? Just asking

      REVO - 2011-06-06 15:33

      @local Fellow: So if i understand your comment correctly, he mean to say that SA Rugby has far less competition than SA Soccer. Ok well here's a list form the top of my head, and most of them also play soccer: England, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Pruguay, USA, Japan, Paraguay etc...that being said SA Soccer has way more sponsorship, funding and training facilities than any other African country, surely they should be #1. But there not only 5th or round about, i'm not trying to be unpleasant here but anyone can see there's something going horribly wrong with management style.

      Leviathan - 2011-06-06 16:57

      CAF dumb decision gettin a north african referee, and CAF should implement some sort of punishment on egypt for that behavior! but who cares egypt can keep their lasers and biased refs coz they wont b at AFCON anyway.

      jjcmenya - 2011-06-07 08:47

      @Revo my Man Rugby and cricket was being played During Apartheid, SA soccer would also be far...if that was the same case.NUFF#SAID

      Thunukenenxe - 2011-06-09 07:39

      @Revo Get ur facts straight bra, Proteas r ranked no 2 & 4 in test and odi respectively out of less than 20 contries. Bafana r ranked no 4 in Africa and we have more than 50 countries in Africa which play soccer.

  • Neo - 2011-06-06 13:52

    With all those missed opportunities where only the goalie was left in defence, I would not be happy at all. When are the boys going to learn how to finish off?

      Point Blank - 2011-06-06 14:56

      Agreed, 2 perfect opportunities went a miss, should've put on Somma earlier.

      Leviathan - 2011-06-06 16:59

      finding a finisher in SA seems like looking for the holy grail. im sure that there r players out there tht can finish better than mphela which isnt saying much.

  • G-Man333 - 2011-06-06 13:55

    Good Game, but we need to be more acurate infront of the poles. On another day Egypt or any one else would have scored in injury time leaving Bafana in a tough spot!!

  • Butters - 2011-06-06 14:05

    Very proud but we just need to finish off. Score shoud easily have been 2-0 for Bafana. But I still believe we will top this group. Mzansi for sho

  • CP - 2011-06-06 14:08

    Guess Egypt didnt "respect" Bafana..... PS: Respect is earned on the field, not by the coach blabbing away....

  • closed - 2011-06-06 14:20

    Our finishing was just not up to scratch!!! However, the Egyptians were given a great "opportunity to make someting out of this game via the "7 added minutes" but still our boys stod firm.....

      closed - 2011-06-06 14:22

      not stod {erro} = "Stood"

      Leviathan - 2011-06-06 17:05

      CAF got confused yesterday of wat neutral/fair game should b. CAF thought u must give egypt 1)north africa ref 2) 7mins of extra time for what?3) allow fans to use lasers to put-off opposition players. they jst forgot 2 let egypt have unlimited subs, which sounds like good sportsmanship dont u think?

  • McDaNife - 2011-06-06 14:42

    Pitso you dumb ass you were supposed to send the Pharoahs packing but in the end you were holding for dear life. The team has no vision. If you think that is the best side we have to offer then take your blinkers off you twit. When are we going to have a really mixed side to represent SA.

      Localfellow - 2011-06-06 15:08

      But the Pharaohs have not qualified thanks to Bafana. All they needed to do was deny them goals. What more do you want?

      Piet Kruger - 2011-06-06 15:58

      'The team has no vision'- is it because there were only 'black' players?Where and which 'white' player could have played?Its shocking that if its cricket or rugby there is always 'experience' bandied around but with football, same is not true. Which white players are ready to play for Bafana? It sickens me that people wearing blinkers blame others for same!!!!! Well done to a 'nerve-wrecking game' yesterday, this augurs well for the WC 2014 qualifiers!

  • Cassels Madingwane - 2011-06-06 15:56

    I just want to know what the hell was those lazer lights about, flashing at our players? Is this one of those African things like armed military in the sports field or intimidation tactics?

  • Bosj - 2011-06-06 16:30

    REVO, let's all enjoy our country's sports stars without subjecting them to undue criticism all the time. Rugby , Cricket, Soccer or any other sport in this country for that matter are not the same and the competing countries do not necessarily take those sports seriously the same way. We may beat Japan in RUGBY but they will whip us in SUMO Wrestling. It does not mean if we beat USA in chess means we can beat them in basketball. So please enjoy SA performs (win or loose). I am a blue bulls fan and I know the pain and humiliation that we endured many years back in the super 10/12 when we could only manage 3 points in a season.

  • Bosj - 2011-06-06 16:32

    and where did the refree get the 7 minutes extra time from? bloody cheats...

      Leviathan - 2011-06-06 17:07

      dont u know the rules? duration of a football match is 97 mins, according 2 egyptian rules

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