Bafana Bafana assistant coach Morena Ramoreboli has praised the impact of Kagiso Malinga off the bench against Botswana in their Cosafa Cup opener on Tuesday.
The South African national team got their Cosafa Cup campaign off to the perfect start as they managed to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Botswana at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Swallows FC attacker Kagiso Malinga came off the bench to score the decisive goal in the 67th minute to hand Bafana all three points as they now move up to second place in Group A.
Although his side failed to dominate possession and struggled to create clear-cut chances in the final third, Ramoreboli was delighted with his side’s overall performance against the Zebras.
“I want to congratulate the boys. I think they tried their level best to execute the plan as we wanted. Yes, we never got too many entries into the final third, especially in the first half,” Ramoreboli told SuperSport TV.
“I think second half we managed to correct a few things. We did not want to lose too many balls because we knew that they would win many aerial balls. So we had to keep the ball on the ground and we got it right.
“Even though there were few mistakes, we could not get enough entries into the final third because Sibanyoni could not connect well with Pitso and Brooks. In the second half we managed to create a few chances. We did our best, especially in the second half.”
Speaking on the decision to bring on goalscorer Malinga in the second half, Ramoreboli said:
“Looking at our bench, we only had three players. We made a very thorough analysis before the game. We knew that Malinga has been scoring a lot of goals for Swallows off the bench. Obviously, when you have him on the bench bring him on and he will give you something. He did that exactly today. These are some of the players who showed signs of maturity.
“We needed to start well. To start well was not enough. We had to also play good football. I think we played an entertaining game. We wanted to play forward as quickly as we could.
“It’s now about preparing for the next match and staying humble, try to work harder and make sure we get a positive result for the next match.”
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