Erasmus lauds Bafana Bafana's fighting spirit

By Drum Digital
13 October 2014

Kermit Erasmus says he would like to see more of the same fight and determination from the national team when Bafana Bafana takes on Congo-Brazzaville for a second time later this week.

Kermit Erasmus says he would like to see more of the same fight and determination from the national team when Bafana Bafana takes on Congo-Brazzaville for a second time later this week.

Second half goals from Bongane Ndulula and Tokelo Rantie steered South Africa to a priceless 2-0 win in their third 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against a Congo team looking for their third consecutive victory last Saturday.

“For us as players, we kept our concentration. We knew what we went there to do and we went for the result -- that's what we were fighting for,” Erasmus said at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium, in Polokwane, after Monday morning's training session.

“Our hunger and our desire was key in that game and we showed it on the day. Coming back to South Africa from the win in Congo, it gives us a good advantage but we're not going to be complacent.” Erasmus replaced Ndulula in the second half for his first appearance in the qualifiers, having missed out on Shakes Mashaba's first squad selection which beat Sudan 3-0 and drew 0-0 with Nigeria last month. The Orlando Pirates striker said he was delighted to be back in the mix for Bafana. He last played for the country in November 2013 in an international friendly against Swaziland.  

“From when I was at home watching the first two games (against Sudan and Nigeria), it was exciting to see the way the guys were playing,” Erasmus said.

“They were playing exciting football and it made me want to be part of the team. With hard work I managed to get myself back as part of the team.

“Being part of the team and the new setup has been amazing. There are a lot of young guys and everybody wants to work for one another. "You can see we're working towards a change for the nation.”

Wednesday evening's clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium will be a welcome return from the artificial playing surface in Pointe-Noire over the weekend, where irregular bounce and slow conditions did little to help South Africa's fluid style.

“The artificial grass holds the ball up. You have to try and lift it off the artificial grass for the ball to get more speed,” Erasmus said.

“Now that it's on grass, you can keep the ball on the ground, which is our strength as players.

“We're quite mobile and we have good agility and strength on the ground so it's more to our advantage.”

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