Bafana Bafana are spending the day reflecting on what could have been following their 3-1 loss to Algeria in the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament. The match took place on Monday, 19 January at the Stade de Mongomo. On Tuesday morning (20 January) they had a light training session, spent mainly talking and reflecting on the match.
The coach urged the players not to despair. “We gave the game away, the best team lost after we creating so many scoring opportunities in the first half. We allowed them back into the match and we got punished. Lift your heads up because it is not over yet there are six points to play for. We have a mountain to climb but we are still confident that we will do well in our next match. I know you are all disappointed as this was a match we should not have lost. And it’s also our first loss in 11 matches but we have to move on and get ready for the next game,” said Mashaba. After the match, Mashaba had addressed a media conference at the stadium. “After we missed that penalty everything went downhill. But I think we played very well. Algeria was lucky to come back, and we had already lost focus when they clawed their way back. We still have two games to go, the boys did well but it is unfortunate that you are judged on the results. I think we need to motivate the boys and bring them to their feet because understandably they are dejected from the loss. We lost our way at crucial times and the goals we let in were soft goals. The result has made our work more difficult because the remaining two games are a must-win. The loss of Rivaldo through injury also cost us a lot as and you could see after his departure things got messy at the back,” said Mashaba.
Captain of the day Dean Furman had this to say. “It is not the kind of start we wanted; we had worked hard for maximum points so the next two games are very crucial for us. We have to lift our heads and go for a win and that’s all we need. The good thing is that we played some outstanding football out there. We are just very disappointed not to come out with a win. We really played very well but did not convert our chances, something we will have to rectify before our next match,” said Furman. The good news for South Africa is that they will have the services to Eric Mathoho and Reneilwe Letsholonyane who were out on suspension.
This was the first time Algeria defeated South Africa in the four games they have played – Bafana Bafana won the first and the other two were drawn. Algeria has three points at the top of Group C, level on points with second-placed Senegal who defeated Ghana 2-1 in an earlier match. South Africa is bottom of the table just behind Ghana – both have no points.
South Africa next faces Senegal in the second match of the group stages. The clash will be played on Friday, 23 January at the Estadio de Mongomo. Kick-off is at 21:00 South African time.
Ghana will face Algeria at the same venue. Kick-off is at 18:00 South African time.