Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why he was confident of beating Ghana in the build-up to the match at Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
South Africa suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Black Stars in their opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifiers, but Ntseki said he still believes in his team and the players he selected for the back-to-back matches.
“I think let’s understand how we operate as coaches – you select the team and prepare the team to win. You can’t come to a press conference and say, ‘I’m in this game to lose’. I am still confident in my players even though we lost 2-0. If you look at the game itself, it was more balanced. As I said, they had more power and strength in getting the goals,” Ntseki told the media in Ghana.
The 50-year-old mentor shot down suggestions that Bafana Bafana were outplayed on the night, saying Ghana took full advantage of his team’s sloppiness in the two situations where they got the goals
“It’s not like we were outplayed in situations where we conceded. It happens in a game of football. When you are not balanced, the opponent takes advantage. I think I kept on saying yesterday when everyone else was trying to single out individual players from Ghana, I said they were a strong team and they’ve got a very strong history in terms of their playing capabilities.
“And as of now, I am still confident in my players and my team, and like I said, well done to Ghana,” continued Ntseki.
With Sudan beating Sao Tome 4-0 and topping the group alongside Ghana, Ntseki was asked of what he makes of Bafana Bafana’s chances of qualifying for the 2021 continental showpiece, and this is what he had to say: “In the qualifiers, you always have those situations where some of the teams in your group will win and you end up losing a match but I think we prepared the team very well for the back-to-back matches.”
Ntseki isn’t ready to start pressing the panic buttons as yet, saying he will assemble a team that will beat Sudan on Sunday afternoon.
He confirmed that Bongani Zungu will not take part in Sunday’s match against Sudan after being stretchered off the pitch with a knee injury against the Black Stars.
“We are fully aware that we were playing the first match in Ghana and the second match in South Africa. I think you saw everybody who was in this camp will be available for Sunday except for Bongani Zungu who has a knee injury. So, we have a balanced team. We selected a balanced team and I’m looking forward to playing the best team on Sunday and do well for ourselves and win the match,” added Ntseki.