Bafana have better idea of how to deal with Sao Tome and Principe
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JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is adamant that they’ll treat their return leg against Sao Tome and Principe as a new game, suggesting that should enhance their chances of finishing top of Group C.
Bafana recorded their second victory in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Friday night at home, defeating Sao Tome 2-0 to remain second in their group with six points, three behind leaders Ghana who defeated Sudan by the same scoreline this week.
The South Africans had a relatively underwhelming first half after failing to have a shot on target, while the visitors appeared as the most deadly going forward. But Ntseki’s men turned the game on its head in the second stanza to wrap up all three points.
Percy Tau, who walked away with the man of the match accolade, got Bafana’s opener from the spot after being fouled inside the box. With more chances created in the final third, Bafana sealed the maximum points in style as Bongani Zungu doubled the lead on the stroke of regulation time.
But according to Bafana’s commander-in-chief, the outcome of Friday’s game is already a distant memory. Instead, their focus is solely on their away-but-home game against the islanders at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
“Going into the game on Monday, obviously the approach will be different. We’ve seen their strengths and weaknesses. It will be a new game. We are not going to look back and say, we scored two goals and missed chances,” Ntseki said.
“It’s a new game because we are focused on going into Afcon and winning the group. With the players that we have in the camp and those that are not part of this camp, the objective is to do well – and win the group. That will put us in a good position in Caf and Fifa rankings.”
Bafana’s burst into life against Sao Tome in the second half. However, that was propelled by the introduction of Scotland-based Zungu for USA-based Kamohelo Mokotjo after the hourmark - tactical substitution that added more depth going forward.
Nice one buddy..— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) November 14, 2020
Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo congrats Bongani Zungu after scoring Bafana Bafana second goal pic.twitter.com/OM8SkGi77I
“Bringing in Bongani Zungu was very important because we were fully aware that Kamohelo Mokotjo was coming from the USA and the time difference is six hours. So, he needed six days to recover from the jetlag,” Ntseki explained.
“So, we gave him 60 minutes knowing that Bongani who arrived on Thursday, coming in with his qualities will bring value to the team. I think everything worked out very well. The plan of starting with a strong team and having a strong team on the bench added more tactical value and worked well.”
Tau, though, was personally pleased with Bafana’s turnout in the second half. However, the RSC Anderlecht man has credited that feat to the ability of the team to make positional changes, having also started out wide in the first half before being a false No 9 in the second.
“I think games and approaches are different,” Tau said. “As players, we always adapt to the demands of the game and how we are planning to play the game. In the first half, the plan was to play wider, stretch them and try to create one-v-ones.”
“In the second half, it was totally different. So, sometimes, it depends on the plan, the approach and the opponent. And sometimes it works out well,” added Tau who bagged his 10th goal in the Bafana colours, one ahead of the decorated Doctor Khumalo.