Bafana Bafana

Rivaldo was a nervous wreck

2014-10-13 09:00
Rivaldo Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After being handed his debut against Congo in Pointe Noire, 17-year-old Rivaldo Coetzee reveals he was “really nervous”.

Read: Bafana to keep feet on ground

Speaking to the official SAFA website, the Ajax Cape Town defender was called upon by Shakes Mashaba following the withdrawal of Anele Ngcongca.

"I heard the night before the game after supper that I was going to start,” said Rivaldo.

“I was very shocked because I did not expect that as there are more senior players than me in the squad, and they are also more experienced.”

The defender who put in an inspiring display for the national side after helping Bafana defeat Congo 2-0 courtesy of Bongani Ndalula and Tokelo Rantie goals.

Coetzee who turns 18 on Thursday, October 16 admits that he was close to asking Mashaba to relinquish his starting place after nerves got the better of him.

“I really wanted the time to stand still because I was very nervous,” Coetzee said.

“I kept telling myself that I don’t think I am ready, maybe I must tell the coach to leave me out of the team.”

“On our way to the stadium we were singing in the bus, and that also calmed me down. Getting into the stadium and seeing all the fans, I knew that back at home everyone is watching the game and supporting me. I couldn’t disappoint. I just had to come out of my shell and put up a good performance."

Bafana will play Congo at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday, October 15 in Polokwane for the return AFCON qualifier. Kick-off will be at 20:05.

Group A

At Pointe-Noire, Congo

Congo Brazzaville 0 v South Africa 2 (Ndulula 52, Rantie 55)

At Khartoum

Sudan 1 (Almadina 41) v Nigeria 0

Standings (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points)

S. Africa 3 2 1 0 5 0 7

Congo 3 2 0 1 5 4 6

Sudan 3 1 0 2 1 5 3

Nigeria 3 0 1 2 2 4 1

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