Cape Town - Bidvest Wits defender Thulani Hlatshwayo admits it hurt him, seeing Bafana Bafana's defence carved open by Mauritania in his absence in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The hard-as-nails defender was nursing an injury when Bafana Bafana were embarrassed 3-1 by the minnows earlier this month.
But he is now back, called up for the two friendlies with Honduras and Costa Rica. Hlatshwayo should also be in the squad that will play four matches against Angola, two in the World Cup qualifiers and another two in the Africa Nations Champions (CHAN) qualifiers.
"I also got hurt, firstly because I wasn't part of the team even though I was called up because of the injury," Hlatshwayo said.
"It was a sad thing, seeing how the guys played. The defending wasn't that proper. But we all know the qualities that they have, from Rivaldo (Coetzee) to all the guys at the back.
"It was just lapse of concentration and they managed to take advantage of that. Going forward we have to be positive.
"They say that you are only as good as your last game, they played well against Senegal. I was happy for the guys. I was talking to them. We have to take it from there."
Hlatshwayo made his return on Tuesday in Bidvest Wits' 1-0 win over SuperSport United. He was part of a back four that featured Buhle Mkhwanazi, Nazeer Allie and Onismor Bhasera.
"They are all good players. Buhle did well, winning the ball in the air," Hlatshwayo said.
"I have to give credit to him. Allie and Bhasera are experienced guys.
"My combination with Buhle is growing and working. I think that we have the best defence in the league."