Afcon:Bafana are going to take the game to Angola, says Igesund A waste of time and skill

2013-01-21 00:00

A DEJECTED Bafana Bafana arrived in Durban yesterday where they will play their last two Africa Cup of Nations group matches against Angola (Wednesday) and Morocco (Sunday) at Moses Mabhida stadium.

The group is wide open after all four teams opened their accounts with goalless draws, but Bafana coach Gordon Igesund knows that his side will have to improve a lot more if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.

“We have put ourselves under a little bit of pressure now and our last two games are games that we need to win,” Igesund said after Saturday night’s 0-0 disappointment against Cape Verde Islands.

The coach said he had never seen his players so nervous before a match and that the occasion of playing in front of packed home stadium on the opening day of a major tournament may have been a little overwhelming for some of them.

“I think a couple of the guys froze and started hiding from the ball for fear of making a mistake,” said Igesund. “We can’t have that. We have players with so much skill, but tonight they didn’t use any of it.”

Igesund labelled the first 45 minutes against Cape Verde a “complete waste of time”.

“We were rushing things and trying to do everything at 100 miles per hour.”

The major problem was Bafana’s inability to create chances.

“In the past we have battled to take our chances, but that wasn’t the issue today because we didn’t create any chances to take. The second half was better and when I brought on [Thulani] Serero at least he tried to put his foot on the ball.”

Igesund had sprung a couple of surprises in his starting line-up by leaving out Serero, Katlego Mphela and Lerato Chabangu, with all three making appearances off the bench.

“I have spoken to Thulani and he told me that he is good for 35 or 40 minutes and then his legs go, so hopefully we will be able to use him more as the tournament goes on,” said the coach.

“Looking back, I think our starting line-up lacked creativity in the middle of the park. The ball was going from our back men straight to the front and bypassing our midfield.”

It is a problem that Igesund will need to fix, and fix quickly. But he remains upbeat about his side’s chances of impressing at the tournament.

“We are going to take the game to Angola and I am sure they will do the same to us,” he said.

“I have a fantastic group of players around me who are very professional. We are still very optimistic that we are going to get the points in the bag, but we have to do a little better than we did today.”

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