Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund emphesised the need to continue blooding in youngsters to the national team to widen the pool and strengthen the squad after seeing his side succumb to a 2-0 defeat against Nigeria in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Wednesday.
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According to the supersport.com website, the first half was evenly balanced with Bafana giving as much as they got but they were punished in the second half following the introduction of Victor Moses and Uche Nwafor.
Moses seemed the trouble Bafana with his tricky moves as he played a hand in the two goals scored by Nwafor.
The defensive combination of Eric Mathoho, making his seventh appearance, Thabo Nthete (11th appearance), Thulani Hlatshwayo (fourth appearance) and Tsepo Masilela (47th appearance) was often caught off and to add to their troubles, possession was easily given away.
Igesund said he needed to have a closer look at some of the locally-based players as he continues to build his squad.
He said he did not want to ignore local talent for international friendly matches. Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker and Sweden-based forward Tokelo Rantie led the Bafana Bafana attack.
It was be Parker’s 80th appearance in a Bafana jersey but hopes of adding to his 15 national team career goals were dashed by the burly and solid Super Eagles defence.
Rantie has been in fine form for his Swedish club Malmo FC but even he could not trouble the Nigeria defence.
The defence will be marshaled by Chiefs towering defender Eric Mathoho along with Celtic captain Thabo Nthete, Thulani Hlatswayo and Tsepo Masilela.
Hlatswayo makes his fourth appearance and is rewarded for his fine form of recent times.
In midfield, Igesund relied on Letsholonyane, Furman,Tshabalala and Phala to subdue the Super Eagles.
It was a milestone appearance for Amakhosi midfielder Tshabalala as he made his 80th appearance, by far the most capped player in the current squad.
He has 11 goals to his name and will probably hope to add to that.
While the result was not pleasing, Igesund will be happy with what he saw and will know what to do in the next friendly against Burkina Faso at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
That match, along with the Nigeria one, form part of Bafana’s preparations for their crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana scheduled for September 7 in Durban.