Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele admitted that while he was proud of his side’s second-half turnaround, as they went on to beat Uganda 3-2 in an international friendly on Thursday, he believes they could of scored more.
Mkhalele was in charge of the side for the day as new head coach Hugo Broos was in Belgium getting his second vaccination shot, while first assistant Cedomir Janevski was ruled out after testing positive for covid-19 earlier in the week.
Things didn’t go to plan for Bafana in the first half as the Cranes took the lead and pushed the South Africans back into their own half.
However, after a tactical and personal switch at the break a different Bafana turned out for the second half as a brace from Evidence Makgopa and a goal from Bongokuhle Hlongwane guided the South Africans to a 3-2 win despite a late goal from Uganda.
Speaking after the match Mkhalele admitted that the technical plan in the first half didn’t work and the changes made all the difference.
“I would also like to acknowledge, we had a technical plan, that we make sure that we follow it,” Mkhalele said.
“But during the first half, we really struggled in the central midfield, because that is where the Ugandas especially number ten, and number eight, so they able to build, from the back and penetrate us so easily.
“I’d attribute that to lack of experience of our boys, and also they were nervous. And more importantly, we didn’t have any single friendly game, to make sure that we build a those combinations for our team, because we only had like two training sessions, and with almost eleven players that never played together before.
“So I believe that first half it contributed for us not to be able to manage the game quite effectively. And again, I would say, even first half, we didn’t dominate, but they were not hurting us that much. Because they were always dominating the possession in their own half.
“So whenever they went forward, they couldn’t create those chances except the one that they scored . But yes, of course, you know, as I said, a lot of our boys were nervous.
“But the second half, basically, we told the boys is that, first and foremost, we needed to change our formation, after changing our formation and change the personnel that we believe that it will help us to make sure that they don’t build from the back and put a high pressure on them at the back.
“Because once we win the ball, we will regain possession in their own half, it becomes very easy for our boys, because of their technical abilities, and individually and collectively, we saw those beautiful combination passes one twos to create those goal, scoring opportunities.
“So on second half, I’m so proud that, even though that we could have scored more goals, but I’m so proud that we took our chances.”
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