Bafana Bafana striker Lebogang Mothiba has admitted that he is not as gifted as some of his teammates but that his role in the team is well-defined.
“The guys here are too good and I wish I was like them ... Nyoso [Thembinkosi Lorch’s nickname], Percy Tau, Lebo Maboe. As for me, I’m just one player who plays one or two-touchs and run into space,” said the French-based marksman.
“My teammates are very good with their feet, technically, turning and running with the ball. I’m not good at this. I think I’m only good at keeping the ball for the midfielders, wingers and fight with the defenders. That’s my role,” he added.
The 23-year-old underlined his qualities at the apex of the Bafana strikeforce during the team’s 1-0 win over hosts Egypt on Saturday.
Mothiba provided the assist that Lorch finished off to send South Africa into the Afcon quarterfinals.
The RC Strasbourg striker also noted the differences in the playing style between South Africa and Europe.
Mothiba finished as one of the top scorers in the French Ligue 1 last season with 12 goals in 39 matches across all competitions.
He is still chasing his first goal at Afcon.
“There [in France] the style is more direct but here the coach is doing a good job for us to know each other. I really enjoy playing here. We are just playing South African football.”
Bafana meet Nigeria in the quarterfinal at Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday night (9pm).
The two nations were in the same group during the qualifiers.
“It’s going to be a different game because I think Nigeria is stronger than Egypt. But I’m not sure that their movements [on and off the ball] are faster than Egypt.
“We just have to focus on our training because it all starts at training.”
“Every game we play is very important and we have to give our all and the coach has already spoken about that kind of mentality - that we stay positive and that we can win every game.
“The coach has already spoken to us about that. We have to keep that mentality and get rid of the mentality that we can’t win against them because we can. We drew with them 1-1 and beat them 2-0 [away in Uyo] and this shows you that anything is possible in football.”
Mothiba is yet to score at Afcon but he is not stressing about his dry spell.
“The goals will come. I mustn’t be too stressed that I need to score.”