Phala itches to clinch victory for Bafana

2015-01-22 16:31

Bafana Bafana midfielder Thuso Phala wants to continue with his scoring form in the national colours.

Phala has scored two goals in four matches, including Bafana’s goal against Algeria on Monday night in the Africa Cup of Nations, but said that would not be enough if it did not lead to victories. He scored the winner against Zambia in a friendly at Orlando Stadium earlier this month.

The SuperSport United player said he was disappointed that his goal was not enough to give Bafana victory over Algeria on Monday.

“We were all disappointed and sad and it was difficult to accept that we let the game slip out of our hands. We should have won in by a bigger margin and we know that we let the coach, ourselves and the country down but it is not the end of the world. We have been in these situations before at club level and were able to bounce back,” said Phala.

He said the sooner they forget about the Algeria match the better for them and their focus was solely on the Senegal game.

“We have seen them in action and we know what to expect. They are big boys and a good team and play in top leagues but we knew before coming to the tournament that it would not be easy for us. But we should take courage from the fact that we outplayed Algeria and if we play our normal game we should be able to beat Senegal.”

He said they would not be intimidated by their physical appearance.

“They are more physical and taller but they are slower than us and that’s where we should capitalise. We are not going to change our style of play but maybe just a different approach.”

The speedy winger said his scoring prowess in national colours should not be compared to Benni McCarthy’s. He said he still had a long way to go before he could be compared to Bafana’s top scorer.

“I wish I was the new Benni but he has set high standards and I have a long way to go. But scoring two goals so far has boosted my confidence and hopefully I will help the team do well.”

Phala said the players have rallied behind striker Tokelo Rantie after his missed penalty against Algeria.

Rantie has come under severe criticism in the country with irate supporters calling him names and accusing him of having cost the team a victory. With Bafana leading 1-0, the penalty would have put them in a comfortable position but it turned out to be the turning point of the game.

“We have been talking about it but we all know it is part of the game. Top players have missed penalties in World Cup and Champions League finals but life goes on. Tokelo is a great and confident player and we need him as a team. Hopefully his confidence will be back in the next game because we need him as a team.”

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