Bafana Bafana

Molefi Ntseki reacts to Bafana Bafana's nightmare in Sudan: 'The mandate was very clear'

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Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki during the South African national mens soccer team squad announcement.
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki during the South African national mens soccer team squad announcement.
Lefty Shivambu

A downbeat Molefi Ntseki on Monday outlined his disappointment after a 2-0 defeat to Sudan by agreeing that the mandate was very clear from SAFA that Bafana Bafana should qualify for every major tournament.

Ntseki's side fell short at the final hurdle in a disastrous 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign as they finished third in Group C behind Ghana and Sunday's opponents Sudan.

Even after the tournament format was extended to include 24 teams, Bafana Bafana missed out on qualifying for the continental showpiece for the fifth time since Tunisia 1994.

Reacting immediately after his side's shock defeat, Ntseki agreed that it wasn't good enough from his side as Bafana Bafana should be qualifying for every major tournament.

"It's a big disappointment for all of us, Ntseki said.

"If you look at how we started [the qualifying campaign] we were very positive.

"We were looking forward to qualifying. If you also look at our wins and the points we accumulated, we became very confident.

"The expectations were created to say that we'd do well at home to Ghana and then away to Sudan.

"I think drawing at home to Ghana made life very difficult for ourselves coming into the clash against Sudan because we knew it would be a foreign land with foreign challenges.

"Also travelling with just the one session in preparation before playing a match did not help us.

"I think the players tried very hard to put everything together. But we started on the wrong foot as we conceded very early with the idea being not to concede.

"We allowed Sudan to dominate the game and it was a very big setback for us to concede two goals in the first half.

"On the day we could not get a goal or see ourselves getting an equaliser.

"I think the disappointment is not only for us, but it is also a huge disappointment for SAFA because the objective is very clear, the mandate is very clear.

"That's to see the national team qualifying for every continental and world tournament so that we can put Bafana Bafana on the map again in terms of the type of football we play and results.

"Getting positive results also improves rankings so not qualifying has also dented our image."

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