Bafana Bafana

Shakes: Let's bring back the smiles

2015-06-15 13:37
Shakes Mashaba at Cape Town Stadium on Monday. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says the disappointment of Saturday’s 0-0 draw to lowly Gambia at Moses Mabhida Stadium is a thing of the past.

The national side were put through their paces at a wet and miserable Cape Town Stadium on Monday morning as they prepare for Tuesday afternoon’s international friendly against Angola.

But there is still a national hangover following Saturday’s failure against a side ranked 160th in world football – a result that has put Bafana immediately on the back foot in their AFCON 2017 qualifying campaign.

Finishing, as always, remains the problem for this side. There were promising attacks aplenty against Gambia, but there was no joy when it came to burying the opportunities created. The disappointment was there for all to see, but Mashaba insists that the squad has moved on from what is surely his worst result as national coach.

"We have dealt with the game that we played – the draw against Gambia – that is now history. We’ve spoken to the players and, as you have seen them this morning in the training session, they were alright. They showed some willingness in being prepared for the next game," Mashaba told Sport24 from the stadium yesterday.

"In terms of the mood; it’s okay. Everyone is vibrant."

Bafana did not score in either of their 2015 COSAFA Cup matches last month, and after an initially positive reaction to Mashaba’s reign, there is an element of concern in the air once more.

"It is most unfortunate sometimes when people get really discouraged when results do not come the way they want them to," said Mashaba.

"The game tomorrow is important to try and bring smiles to our people’s faces. We can only hope that they will come and support the team, because the boys really need the support."

Bafana have everybody available except midfielder Oupa Manyisa, who is recovering from a knee injury after limping off against Gambia. Mashaba said a late call would be made on Manyisa’s availability when he announced his side on Monday evening.

Turning his attention to Angola, Mashaba said that he was fully aware of their capabilities – adding that there was no longer such a thing as a ‘small team’ in African football.

"We know what kind of competition to expect against them. Very tough, quick going forward and the push all the time," said Mashaba.

"We are definitely going to work hard in terms of our combinations in the team."

Kick-off on Tuesday is at 15:00.

Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Jackson Mabokgwane, Brilliant Khuzwayo, Itumeleng Khune

Defenders: Thabo Matlaba, Rivaldo Coetzee, Anele Ngcongca, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Marc van Heerden, Clayton Daniels, Patrick Phungwayo, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Tshepo Gumede, Ntsikelelo Nyauza

Midfielders: Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, May Mahlangu, Thulani Serero, Mandla Masango, Bongani Zungu, Ayanda Patosi, Thuso Phala, Jabulani Shongwe

Strikers: Thamsanqa Gabuza, Bonginkosi Ntuli, Vuyisile Wana, Gift Motupa, Siphelele Ntshangase

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  safa  |  shakes mashaba  |  cape town  |  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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