21 January 2013

South Africa: Bafana Still On Track for Afcon Glory - Igesund

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
Anele Ngcongca of South Africa, left, tangles with Heldon of Cape Verde during opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Pretoria — Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund says the national team's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quest is still on track.

South Africa was on Saturday held to a disappointing goal-less draw by tournament new comers, Cape Verde. However, Igesund says Angola and Morocco's goal-less draw proffers the under pressure hosts a good opportunity to have a crack at seeking passage into the quarter-finals.

"We have our destiny in our own hands. Following the draws from the two [Group A] matches, we are starting all over again and on equal footing. All teams have a point each and this means five or six points could get us through to the next round. It is back to the drawing board and we need to work hard.

"We have to change some things we did in our last match and approach Angola differently," said Igesund.

The coach said the most important thing for him was to get into the players' heads and "try to free their minds" because the performance against Cape Verde was not at all convincing.

"I have to get the players to believe in themselves again for us to move forward," he said, adding that he had a talk with the team and they know what they need to do.

"The truth is that the players were also disappointed about their showing; but it's all behind us now we cannot undo it. They know they let a good opportunity slip by.

"The remaining two training sessions will be crucial for us to help us prepare thoroughly for our next match, but I remain confident that with the six points on offer, we can get out of the group stages," he said.

Bafana Bafana face Angola on Wednesday, 23 January, at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban at 5pm.

Morocco and Cape Verde will meet in the second Group A match, also at Moses Mabhida Stadium as part of a double header.

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