Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said the Australasia tour, which saw his charges draw with Australia and New Zealand, had achieved its desired objectives. South Africa drew 1-1 with Australia on Monday and 0-0 with New Zealand at Mt. Smart Stadium on Friday to round off what the coach described as a satisfactory tour. The Bafana Bafana entourage leave New Zealand on Saturday and are expected to land at OR Tambo Airport at 16:15 on the same day.
Reflecting on Friday’s game against the All Whites, Igesund said his team had dominated possession but was not ‘very happy’ that they failed to convert their dominance into victory. “We should at least have put away one or two chances but we at times over-elaborated when taking a shot would have been a better option. At times, I detected that some players didn’t want to take the responsibility. But overall, I am quite pleased with how the boys played,” he said. Igesund who brushed aside talk of his imminent abdication of the national team duties said New Zealand were not pushovers as many had predicted.
“They are enthusiastic, full of running although some of their tackles, especially on Thulani Serero bordered on recklessness. I thought the referee should have been more firm and stamped his authority. But there was nothing malicious apart from it being youthful exuberance on the home side’s players,” said Igesund. The 57-year mentor said football matches involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa should become regular occurrences just as is the case with rugby and cricket. “The three countries have a lot in common and I think the only missing link is to solidify relationships on the football front. The two Australasian countries are a good destination for most South Africans both on the cultural and sporting front and football should seal that bond,” added Igesund.