Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Bafana Bafana

Gordon Igesund © Backpagepix

Igesund wants to take SA forward



Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund was disappointed to have missed out on World Cup qualification on Saturday, but pleased with the strides South Africa was continuing to make under his guidance.

South Africa needed to win its final qualifying game to have any hope of reaching the global spectacle next year, which they did 4-1 against Botswana in Durban.

But Group A leaders Ethiopia, who Bafana needed to either lose or draw against Central African Republic (CAR), were instead 2-1 victors.

“I've got mixed feelings because I'm absolutely thrilled with the progress the team is making and the players that are coming through,” Igesund said afterwards.

The result enabled the East Africans to top the pool and reach the final 10-team qualifying stage at the expense of the hosts, who ended second.

It nonetheless rounded-off a promising campaign that began poorly in 2012 and led to the sacking of Igesund's predecessor Pitso Mosimane.

But Igesund believes the country can be proud of its national team, particularly after its demolition of Botswana on Saturday.

“If I take a step backwards, I don't think anybody is to blame for us not qualifying," Igesund said.

“That's just how it happened, the ball didn't quite roll for us in the beginning.

“I've been involved for four games and we won three of them and that's what's hurting. It's so unfortunate. But things happen in life for reasons.

“We accept that, even though there's obvious disappointment, and we'll move forward. We've got a lot to look forward to with 2015 (African Nations Cup) and 2018 (World Cup).”

There was no faulting Bafana Bafana at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where Kermit Erasmus and man-of-the-match Dean Furman gave them a comfortable halftime lead.

Jerome Ramatlhakwane pulled one back, before Kaizer Chiefs forward Bernard Parker scored a free-kick and a penalty in the closing stages to seal the win.

Igesund also confirmed he wanted to remain in the role, despite not fulfilling seemingly impossible targets initially laid out to him by the SA Football Association (Safa).

Safa wanted Igesund and Bafana to qualify the national team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the semifinals of the African Nations Cup on home soil earlier this year.

“I had mandates, which were not reached,” he added.

“But I couldn't have done more. I've got a contract until 2014.

“Whatever anybody wants to do or say, they're entitled to do that. I know that after the African Nations Cup, I was told by Safa that they were very happy with the way things were going and I should continue until 2014.

“So the way I see things, there are no mandates, I'm here until 2014 unless something else happens.”

Igesund, whose camp was rocked by the axing of Thulani Serero on the eve of the clash, revealed after the game that the player wanted his coaching staff to lie about an injury so that the Ajax Amsterdam star could avoid getting injured ahead of a European Champions League game for his Dutch club this week.

Bafana will travel to Johannesburg on Sunday ahead of a friendly against Zimbabwe at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...