14 January 2013

South Africa: Igesund Has a Favourable View About Bafana

These pre-tournament days always do provide space for a heady dose of doubts to smile in the face of those dastardly realists.

Gordon Igesund has had a favourable view about his team as the Afcon draws closer and closer.

It just 7 days left to the tournament where South Africa plays Cape Verde and people might be left in their old doubt about the Bafana's.

If you consider that Bafana have not won a game at a Nations Cup finals since they beat Benin in Tunisia in 2004, the South African Football Association mandate for Igesund to reach the semi-finals looks like it's taken right from the annals of the absurd.

And the 1-0 friendly defeat to Norway in Cape Town on Tuesday only served to highlight the apparently eternal Bafana problem - they suffer from a horrendous stage fright in front of goal.

Igesund, however, is having none of it. The mantra of "belief" that Bafana can win the Nations Cup courses through his veins, and he is also certain the goals will come once the tournament gets underway.

"Finishing is not a problem, trust me," he says. "On another day, with the same opportunities we would have had four goals (against Norway).

"If you keep saying a player can't do it, he starts believing it. I think we can score goals, we will definitely score goals. We have the two top goalscorers in the league (Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro) and the third all-time leading goalscorer for Bafana (Katlego Mphela).

"You can't say you can't do this, you have to start believing, and I know they can (score).

"I believe this team is capable of winning this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Did you think it was possible for Swallows to finish second in the league after the previous season they had two points from 15 games? It can happen and I believe it will happen.

"At the end of the day I can only do my best. If it is not good enough, it is not good enough, but I can look in the mirror and say, 'I know I could not have done more'. Only time will tell. In nine days the moment of truth is here."

Today Bafana plays their final warm-up match against Algeria at Orlando Stadium. The game was supposed to kick off at 3.30pm, but the Algerians rejected that time, and it will now start at 8.15.

Igesund will be fielding his 11 players after the match with the Algerians to get ready to face Cape Verde

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