Bafana Bafana

Suspended Shakes hails Mathoho-Rivaldo combination

2016-11-15 07:55
Eric Mathoho (Gallo Images)

Polokwane - Suspended Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba has heaped praise on the defensive combination of Rivaldo Coetzee and Eric Mathoho.

South Africa claimed their maiden competitive triumph over the Lions of Teranga in an entertaining 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Thulani Hlatshwayo opened the scoring for Mashaba's charges from the penalty spot before Thulani Serero finished off a well worked team goal seconds before the half-time whistle.

Senegal grabbed a consolation goal courtesy of Dame N’Doye, who blasted the ball into the back of the net following a scramble inside the South African box as the match finished at 2-1.

Mashaba believes that his charges were more energetic due to a vocal 35 thousand capacity crowd in the north and if it was their lucky day, South Africa could have went on to score more goals.

“I want to say job well done to the players and the people who were at the stadium,” Mashaba hailed.

“You know, they really brought a positive energy to the team because they were very vocal and impacted a lot on the day. You have seen the way our boys played because of their backing and we should have scored more goals if it was our lucky day.

“Yes, it was our lucky day but unfortunately not where it was supposed to be.”

The 66-year-old mentor also praised debutant, Tiyani Mabunda, for standing his ground against a physical Senegalese team while also singling out the partnership of Coetzee and Mathoho as crucial.

“Actually our back four did exceptionally well, the Rivaldo and Mathoho combination was solid,” Mashaba said. "And again, Tiyani Mabunda did very well as well, he actually went on to get a yellow card which shows that he was playing more with his head than his legs.

“We were playing against an intelligent team and we managed to stand our ground. You could see whenever they build at the back that they want to get something positive upfront.”

Bafana will face Mozambique in the international friendly clash in Maputo on Tuesday, and Mashaba will not be part of the team due to his suspension.

SAFA confirmed that assistant coaches, Owen Da Gama and Thabo Senong, will be in charge of the game in Mashaba’s absence.

Kick off is at 19:00.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  shakes mashaba  |  soccer

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