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Football | Bafana Bafana

Steve Komphela © Backpagepix

The nation deserves better - Komphela



Bafana Bafana are tired of mediocrity and they owe it to the country to win a match, according to interim coach Steve Komphela.

The South Africans drew 1-1 against Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday –their eighth successive match without a win – as they continued to stumble in their Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign.

"We are not blessed, we are not happy. The nation deserves better," Komphela said. "We have to acknowledge that.

"We are putting too much stress and strain on the players , but we have to carry it. I don't believe there is a rule in football that you have to draw permanently. Neither would you win permanently, nor lose permanently."

South Africa were left lying second in Group A with only two points from their first two games after they drew 1-1 against Ethiopia in their qualifying opener the week before.

Central African Republic, who held a game in hand, were one point clear at the top of the group standings, with only the top team set to progress to the next round of preliminaries for the Brazil showpiece in 2014.

Bafana again dominated the match, as they had done against the Ethiopians, but struggled to find the back of the net with poor finishing.

"This has to change," Komphela said.

"We don't know when it's going to change, but as we speak now, we drew the match, and we have two points, which is not pleasing."

The former Bafana captain called on South Africans to support their team in difficult times, but also conceded that it worked both ways and the side needed to produce results to garner support.

"We'll have to go out there and keep our heads up and keep working, hoping that next time we will get something," he said.

"But we cannot keep waiting because next time it gets too late and nobody wants to wait."

Their struggle to convert chances seemingly comes down to a lack of confidence up front, and while Komphela felt their strikers were under too much pressure, he said they would need to find a solution.

"Pressure is always there. Our second name is pressure," he said.

"We'll have to go back and check the results.

"We cannot be looking at points, though, we need to win matches."

With his Free State Stars side, Komphela is known for instilling motivation in his troops, and he said Bafana would persevere.

"We will have to keep looking forward until the end [of the qualifiers], he said.

"I strongly believe, even if it were to be the last match, and God forbid South Africa had not qualified, we would still have to go there and fight for the colours of our country."

South Africa, in search of a new head coach after Pitso Mosimane was sacked earlier in the week, face Gabon in an international friendly in Nelspruit on Friday.

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