Bafana Bafana

Furman chuffed with win

2014-11-16 14:07
Dean Furman (Gallo Images)

Durban - Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana skipper Dean Furman says leading the national team in Durban on Saturday was the proudest moment of his career.

As it happened: Bafana Bafana v Sudan

Goals from Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie either side of half-time secured South Africa's passage to next year's Africa Cup of Nations, beating Sudan 2-1 and wrapping-up qualification with a game to spare in Furman's first game as captain.

"The kind of support that I have received personally has been quite unbelievable," Furman said.

"For me it was probably the biggest honour and one of the proudest moments of, not only my career, but my life, to lead my national team out onto the field."

The 26-year-old, who made his debut under former coach Gordon Igesund in 2012, has quickly become a crowd favourite after a host of stellar performances, which has earned him the reputation of being one of the country's most consistent performers.

The result was a near-perfect one for Furman, who would have preferred not to have concede a sloppy goal 16 minutes from time when his defence went to sleep.

But a desperate effort from the defence saw out a famous victory for the team, as South Africa celebrated their first qualification for a major tournament since 2008.

"We knew what we had to do today. We knew we had to get over the line and we're delighted to have done that.

"We know that in the past we haven't quite got there, or there has been this issue or that issue, so today we're delighted that we got the three points, it keeps us top of our group and we know that we're going to the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"The performance, there were parts of it that were brilliant. Some of the football that we played was excellent. They came to frustrate us, they sat behind the ball, there were no spaces for us, so we had to be patient."

Furman was tasked with leading the team following Senzo Meyiwa's death on October 26. Meyiwa had helped set the standard and laid the foundation for Bafana's qualification, winning two and drawing two of the first four qualifiers, keeping a clean-sheet in all four.

"We dedicate that win to Senzo. He was in our minds the whole week. It was an incredibly emotional week. The spirit in the camp has been high and I was lucky enough to be selected the captain by the coach, but I can tell you now there’s many leaders out there on the pitch.

"The boys are all trying to impress and to make sure that they're out there on that pitch. No-one is resting on their laurels."

South Africa were due to depart for Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday evening, before travelling to Uyo in the south-east of the country where they take on the Super Eagles in a newly-built Akwa Ibom International Stadium.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  dean furman  |  durban  |  soccer
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