Cape Town - Bafana Bafana’s two-goal hero Tokelo Rantie says a change in attitude got him fired up for the final AFCON 2015 qualifier against Nigeria.
The Bournemouth FC striker says he got out of his shell and put a man of the match performance to knock the Super Eagles out of the qualification.
"It is a great feeling which I haven’t had in a very long time. I think we did well even though I am a little disappointed that we did not win the match." the striker told safa.net after the match.
"But we gave Nigeria a run for their money. It was a great team effort and had we held on until the end we could be talking a different story altogether but I am proud of my teammates and the coaching staff for a job well done.
Rantie admitted his disappointment at letting a two goal lead slip. He said: "I am not happy that we gave up our lead but as players we did everything the coach asked us to do."
"The red card to Reneilwe Letsholonyane played a huge role too but it’s part of the game."
The leading goalscorer for South Africa in AFCON qualifying then revealed his motivation for the clash against the Super Eagles.
"Coming to this match, I was personally pushed by other factors to do well. I have received a lot of criticism in national team matches. But when I was sitting alone in my room, I decided to stop worrying about such and play my own game and see what happens.
"I let go off all the pressure that I have been feeling in all these matches which made it difficult for me to perform.
"I am glad that it has worked for me, but also I would not have done so well if it wasn’t for my teammates. Their contribution assisted me to help the team play so well and again I say I think it is the start of good things to come."
He made his debut against Botswana in a World Cup qualifier in June 2012 and scored his first international goal in the next match – a 3-0 win against Gabon in an international friendly.
Rantie has scored eight goals in 26 appearances for the national team.