Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is pleased his side secured the three points against Sudan on Sunday, but admits they felt the effects of a gruelling travelling week in the second half.
South Africa picked up their first win in Group C of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a 1-0 win at the Orlando Stadium, after suffering a 2-0 defeat in Ghana by the Black Stars in their opener on Thursday evening.
After a first half where Bafana missed numerous chances, they eventually took the lead through Lebogang Phiri just before the break.
Bafana, though, struggled to create momentum in the second half, and coach Ntseki admitted to SABC Sport post-game that his side’s legs had gone in the second stanza.
‘Congratulations to the boys and the team for getting the three points especially when you look at it in the second half, the legs were gone,’ Ntseki said.
‘We can understand why and that’s because of the travelling. I think they put up a very good fight and they tried during transition moments to get a goal and missed those chances. I think the chances we missed in the first half took a lot of energy from our players, but I think we did well defensively in the first half, they didn’t play behind our defence.
‘What we’ve seen with them [Sudan] is that they depend on switch play and play behind the defence. So, we dealt well with that situation.
‘Firstly, you complement because you create chances – if there’s no movement and if there’s no commitment as well as a belief to create those chances,’ he added.
‘We complement but what is important for us was composure, especially when you’re about to finish because if you look at the first half we could have just tapped the ball in but we couldn’t.
‘At half time, we told them we are creating chances, let’s be composed and pick the spot and get goals. I think what actually derailed our plan is that [Thapelo] Morena picked up an injury, [Thulani] Serero and, remember, Dean [Furman] played 90 minutes in Ghana and [Sifiso] Hlanti played 90 minutes, as well as the captain [Thulani Hlatshwayo].
‘Part of the work was to be done on the sides, that is why we had to reserve Hlanti to be stable at the back and Furman to give us the balance.
‘I think under the circumstances we did well and we got the three points we were looking for,’ he concluded.
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