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Wed Apr 16 12:14:40 SAST 2014

(Un)happy Igesund targets Nations Cup

MAZOLA MOLEFEin Nelspruit | 11 September, 2012 07:300 Comments
Bafana Bafana's Dino Ndlovu seen here tussling with David Luis of Brazil in a Fifa friendly match between the two nations at Estadio Morumbí on Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ndlovu dislocated his shoulder during this match
Image by: MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL / GALLO IMAGES

GORDON Igesund was happy with the way Bafana played against Brazil, but he was unhappy about losing.

"People have misinterpreted our happiness," said the Bafana coach yesterday. "We were not happy about losing 1-0. We want to try and win each game we play."

Igesund spoke after his team's only training session ahead of tonight's friendly international against Mozambique at the Mbombela stadium.

"But I was pleased with the effort and commitment and the way the players adapted to how we were going to play our game," he said of last Friday night's match against the five-times world champions in Sao Paulo.

Bafana were not disgraced in that defeat and the coach is chuffed that he has managed to turn the team around so quickly.

"Our priority is the Africa Cup of Nations. It's not important for us to have fantastic performances now and not do well in the Nations Cup," the coach said.

The challenge against Mozambique could not be more important for Bafana. It is, after all, against African opponents that Bafana will need to win to repeat their Nations Cup triumph of 1996.

Mozambique might be ranked 35 places below Bafana by Fifa, but the Mambas' 2-0 win against Morocco in the first leg of their Nations Cup qualifier on Sunday implies they will not just roll over tonight.

Igesund expects the same dedication Bafana showed against Brazil, if not a bit more.

"We need to win. Hopefully it can be convincingly. Our guys need to be equally pumped up when we play Mozambique as they were when we played Brazil in front of over 50000 people," he said.

Bafana failed to score for the third time in eight games this season. Before Brazil, they beat Gabon 3-0 at Mbombela stadium in June in an international friendly.

That win followed two draws in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Botswana in the same month.

"I can't begin to describe our situation with strikers. There were a lot of freak incidents. I called up (Siyabonga) Nomvethe, replaced him with (Edward) Manqele, then he got injured and I called up Benni (McCarthy). Now he and Dino Ndlovu are out," said Igesund.

As it is, Bernard Parker is the only recognisable striker in the team, while Thamsanqa Gabuza is untested at international level.

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