Bafana Bafana

Shakes concerned by fitness

2015-01-05 09:17
Shakes Mashaba (Supplied)

Cape Town - South Africa coach Shakes Mashaba admits his side appear to be lacking full fitness after they toiled to a 1-0 win over Zambia on Sunday.

Read: Yeye looks forward to AFCON

Bafana Bafana kicked off their preparations ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with a friendly international against the Copper Bullets at Orlando Stadium at the weekend, where Thuso Phala's 82nd-minute strike eventually proved the difference.

Mashaba, though, feels there is still work to be done ahead of the Equatorial Guinea showpiece, most notably in the fitness department, with players complaining of cramp in the closing stages of the encounter.

"We played well up until we scored our goal. But the last 10 to 20 minutes fatigue started to take its toll, especially in our defence where some players complained about their muscles and all that," the coach said.

"Finally, we managed to score the goal and this being a send off it was good thing to put a smile on the faces of our supporters."

Mashaba went on to heap praise on Chipolopolo, and admits their near neighbours arguably deserved more out of the game.

He said: "It was not an easy game if you look at Zambia apart from where they are now, they are one of the best football nations in the South African region.

"To make it worse, they haven't selected their final 23 players for the AFCON and everybody wanted to impress the coach and that's why they played good football.

"I want to say to the Zambians, the score was not a true reflection of the game, they did well. They played very well and showed character."

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  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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