Pitso Somma praises Davide

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has praised his "fox in the box".

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has praised his "fox in the box".

Published Nov 18, 2010


The honeymoon is over for new Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane, but he has found a “fox in the box” in the form of his new striker Davide Somma.

Speaking after Bafana were unlucky to be beaten 1-0 by an experimental United States side in the Nelson Mandela Challenge played at a packed Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night, Mosimane said he was happy with his side, especially Leeds United forward Somma, Belgium based midfielder Daylon Claasen and the talented Orlando Pirates midfielder, Andile Jali.

It was Mosimane’s first defeat in four matches in charge of Bafana since he took over from Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira after the World Cup finals. This was also the first goal Bafana have conceded under Mosimane.

“We had to lose sometime and this is not a train smash. We learnt a lot about ourselves against a tough US side,” said Mosimane afterwards.

Somma (25) excelled on his debut and had the fans and media singing his praise, despite coming off early in the second half and showed he has the muscle and the skills to mix it at international level. He will give Mosimane more options and variety in attack that has been lacking in Bafana for some years.

“Somma has a future with Bafana and he showed he has talent. He is like a predator in that penalty area. “I have a new fox in the box. I was pleased with him and he is in my plans for the future,” said Mosimane.

Somma was given a standing ovation when he was replaced early in the second half by Sthembiso Ngcobo and has upped the competition for strikers in the national set-up that has been lacking for years.

Now the likes of injured Katlego “Killer” Mphela and Bernard Parker are no longer automatic choices.

Despite losing to a sucker goal five minutes from time netted by teenager Juan Agudelo, Mosimane was not complaining. “The object of this friendly was to give players like Somma, Claasen and Jali some game time and I was happy with what I saw.”

But Mosimane admitted he could have given another debutant, Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Matthew Pattison, more game time. Pattison came on in the last three minutes to earn his first cap.

“Maybe I should have brought on Pattison earlier but I cannot play everyone at the same time.”

Bafana outplayed the US side that are ranked 25th in the world and US coach Bob Bradley, admitted afterwards his side were under a lot of pressure.

“South Africa had us under a lot of pressure in the first half but we got stronger as the game went on,” said Bradley.

Mosimane said he would rather lose 1-0 than play for a 0-0 draw.

“I never saw their goal coming, but I would rather lose 1-0 against the run of play than defend the last few minutes and try and hold out for a draw.”

Mosimane was also full of praise for his captain on the night, Steven Pienaar, who ran himself ragged and was replaced in the 78th minute.

“Pienaar could not run any more and had to come off. He was exhausted after he played a storming match against Arsenal at the weekend in the English Premiership. He led by example and I was delighted with his efforts.”

Mosimane also had praise for the US. “Give the US credit for their professionalism and their tactical discipline. We had a few chances but their two centre backs were outstanding and we just could not get through,” said Mosimane.

The Bafana coach also refused to blame Kenyan referee Silvester Kirwa for not awarding Bafana a penalty when Somma was brought down inside the US danger zone in the 10th minute.

“I am not sure it was a penalty so there is nothing to complain about.” – Sapa

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