We need to start scoring, says Teko

2009-10-08 10:27

Midfield kingpin Teko Modise is worried about Bafana Bafana’s

recent slump and has stated that he and his national teammates need to rectify

the position by scoring goals and beating Norway in an international to be

played in Oslo on Saturday. Kick-off is at 4pm SA time.

The Orlando Pirates playmaker has more responsibilities on his

shoulders against Norway with the withdrawal through injury of Everton

midfielder Steven Pienaar.

But Modise is also struggling with a niggling toe injury. “I am

happy to be back in the Bafana squad after missing the last three games through

injury. My toe is not 100%, but I am willing to play through the pain barrier

and do whatever it takes to stop this run of defeats we have suffered.”

Modise was candid when he said Bafana needed more goals but did not

blame the strikers. Instead, he said it was his and the other midfield players’

jobs to create scoring opportunities for the strikers.

“The strikers cannot do the job by themselves. We, as a team, need

to come to the party. If we do not score we cannot win games.”

He said that after beating Norway 2-1 at a red hot Royal Bafokeng

Stadium in April, Bafana can expect Norway to come out with guns blazing at


“It will be cold in Oslo and Norway will not want to lose twice

against us. They will be determined to set the record straight which is going to

make our job more difficult.”

Pienaar and Modise combined well during that win over Norway.

But without Pienaar, Modise is going to be the main creative player

and has the task of getting Bafana’s goal-shy strikers into positions where they

can score.

Modise expects a much tougher game from Norway who arrived at the

last minute for their clash in Rustenburg and were out on their feet at the end

of that game.

Norway captain and top Aston Villa striker John Carew is back and

he can be a one-man demolition squad in attack.

But Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena has played many times against the

tough-as-teak Carew in the English Premiership and knows what to expect.

Also in the Norwegian side is AS Roma midfielder John Arne Riise

who Mokoena will also know from Riise’s spell at Liverpool.

Modise and his teammates also realise that they face a much

stronger Norway than the one they beat in Rustenburg

Bafana head coach Joel Santana’s R1.4 million per month job is on

the line. This week, new SA Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten

Nematandani made it clear that Safa were unhappy with the Brazilian who will now

have three prominent local coaches, Clive Barker, Jomo Sono and Gavin Hunt,

assessing the match against Norway and next Tuesday’s friendly against Iceland

in Reykjavik.

Santana has been labelled a “dead man walking” after a string of

poor results - mostly due to his bizarre selection of players and his

ultra-conservative tactics.

Bafana have lost six friendly matches since they reached the

semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in June. Bafana’s only success, if it can

be termed that, was a 1-0 victory over Madagascar, thanks to a helping hand from

the match referee who chalked up what looked like a legitimate late equaliser

for the Islanders in Kimberley last month.

Santana is his own worst enemy. He is stubborn and inflexible.

Whether or not he has been right to continually leave both “bad boys” Blackburn

Rovers striker Benni McCarthy and Spanish-based defender Nasief Morris in the

cold will be seen during the next few days. The only saving grace is that at

least he has been consistent in the omissions.

However, that does not justify selecting players who are bench

warmers at their clubs for Bafana. It shows that Santana is out of touch and is

not listening to his advisors. But he will stand or fall by his decisions. Safa

have made it clear they expect results and expect them soon.

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