Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba was pleased with many
aspects of his side’s 2-1 win over Angola at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, but
acknowledged that finishing remains a problem.
Bafana found themselves a goal down after 25 minutes through
a stunner from Alexander Mfutila, but Thamsanqa Gabuza’s equaliser on the stroke
of half time and an own goal from Angola’s Filipe Malanda - after an expert
chip from Ayanda Patosi had come back off the crossbar on 68 minutes - was
enough to secure a much-welcomed victory for South Africa.
Mashaba was particularly pleased with his side’s ability to
build attacks from the back through good combination play, but the coach was
quick to add that there were still improvements to be made in front of goal.
“The good thing was that the kind on nippy football that we
played dismantled them,” Mashaba said after the match.
“Our boys were very good in their combinations, though the
problem of finishing was still there today. It was a good thing that we managed
to score two goals and that we managed to win the game.
“When we went forward we built up very well from the back
and we got into the opposition’s area. Their goalkeeper was very good as well,
but we never took shots when we created the chances.”
Thulani Serero had a major impact whenever Bafana had the
ball in the final third, and his display saw him pick up the man of the match
award. The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder was in a league of his own – his composure
and movement on the ball causing constant problems for the Angolan defence. His
role in the winner was immense, as he faked a shot before slipping a delightful
ball through to Patosi.
“He played very well,” said Mashaba of his playmaker.
“Though, he didn’t exert himself to the fullest. If he is
right on the day he could kill a lot of people. You need an influence of a
player like that, especially when you get into the defending team’s third.”
Mashaba also praised the attitude of his players over the
last few weeks when, despite results not going their way, spirits remained
“By now we should have been dejected (given Saturday’s 0-0
draw with lowly Gambia),” said Mashaba.
“But if you look at the performance over the last two games
there was no sign of the boys losing form our touch; they were giving it their
all. They played very well today and I wouldn’t say having not won games over
the past few months had an effect on the boys.”
Bafana are in action again this Saturday when they take on Mauritius
in a CHAN qualifier at Dobsonville Stadium. Mashaba will retain all of his
locally-based players for that clash.