Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu believes the future is bright for the current crop of South African players after a quarter-final exit at the hands of Nigeria in a game he believes his side should have won.
The South Africans conceded an 89th-minute William Troost-Ekong goal which handed them a 2-1 loss after Zungu had initially cancelled out Samuel Chukwueze’s opener with a header in the 71st minute.
Speaking to SuperSport TV after the game Zungu admitted that his side didn’t start well, but said they should have gone on to win the game after dominating proceedings.
‘Very disappointing result. In the first half, we gave them a lot of respect. Second half, the coach told us to press them high and I think we did and were moving the ball well and I felt like we were going to score.
‘When we scored the goal, we were in the game but unfortunately we lost concentration in the end. It’s very disappointing, we are sad but I am proud of the team. We fought hard, we didn’t start the tournament good but we should’ve won this one,’ said the Aimnes midfielder.
‘We had our gameplan good. We had to press them high so their centre backs don’t play the diagonal balls to [Ahmed] Musa and the other winger [Samuel Chukwueze]. In the second half, we moved the ball well, we closed them down, we put them under pressure. We just lost concentration and that’s where the game was for me. ‘
The French-based player admitted that he was happy to repay Stuart Baxter’s faith in him and believes that the side has a bright future after their experience at Afcon.
‘Personally, I think I had a good Afcon and I’m grateful because I came back from a long injury. I’m grateful that the coach called me to the squad when a lot people were questioning it and I feel I did my best,’ he added.
‘We’ve got a very good team, we got some young players. The future is bright for Bafana Bafana, we need to stay positive. We look forward to more competitions and hopefully we’ll learn from players and grow from this.’
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