United player unhappy about his performance for Namibia against SA

2010-03-05 00:00

YOU might expect Rudolf Bester to be basking in the glory of a goal-scoring performance in a famous 1-1 draw for underdogs Namibia against their “big brother”, World Cup hosts South Africa, at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday night. But you’d be wrong.

Instead, the soft-spoken Maritzburg United forward, who does his talking on the field, is critical of his performance and feels he could have done better.

Bester (26) burst onto the scene in his first season in the PSL with a lightning long-range strike that sunk Kaizer Chiefs in a 1-0 victory to Maritzburg at Orlando Stadium in September. And his growing reputation was enhanced with a clinical finish in Wednesday night’s friendly in Durban.

“To be honest I was not that happy with my performance — I was not at the top of my game,” Bester said yesterday. “I know what I can do and yesterday I was not happy.

“But as a team, as underdogs, we did well against a big country. We didn’t have anything to lose so we said, ‘let us go out and play and take the game to them’.

“It was not an easy game to go into — everyone was saying Bafana Bafana would win. For our local players to see how we could play in a World Cup stadium was a great experience. The stadium, the crowd and the atmosphere felt marvellous.”

Bester has a habit of scoring in big games for Namibia — he scored two goals in the Brave Warriors’ 3-2 victory against Ethiopia that saw the minnows qualify for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

The forward says Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet has done a good job organising Namibia into an effective pattern, one that was successful in frustrating Bafana on Wednesday.

“We always play the same system home or away. We just sit back and hit teams on the counter-attack, and when we lose the ball we come back in our own half, shuffle, shuffle, and then hit them again.”

It’s an efficient gameplan for a team with limited resources and has worked well for Namibia, who are unbeaten in four games including convincing victories against Zimbabwe (4-2) and DR Congo (4-2).

Bester returned yesterday to Maritzburg training ahead of tomorrow’s final game of the season against Santos (3.30 pm). Both teams want a victory — Santos, who have Orlando Pirates breathing down their necks, to preserve fourth place, and 10th-placed United to have a shot at finishing ninth.

“Our aim was the top eight but that’s not possible any more,” Bester said. “But it’s our league and our season that we have worked so hard for, and we have to try our best for ninth place.”

Wherever United finish, they have shown enough promise in the second half of the season under coach Ernst Middendorp to suggest exciting times in 2010/11. Bester still has a year left on his contract and is looking forward to playing for United again next season.

“It has been my dream to play in the PSL and my first season has gone well for me. United have treated me well, so I want to repay them by performing for them next season,” he said.

• By yesterday 5 000 tickets had been sold and United are hoping to fill the stadium for the final game of the season. Tickets (R30 ground entry, R15 juniors) are available at Computicket, SuperSave in Retief Street and the club offices at 397 Victoria Road.

The curtain raiser at 12.30 pm is between a Maritzburg Legends side made up of ex-professionals and Savages FC, the oldest club in SA.

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