The future looks bright - Plenty positives for Bafana Bafana to take from Cosafa Cup triumph
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CAPE TOWN - BAFANA Bafana stand-in coach Morena Ramoreboli believes that his side showed good fighting spirit to win the Cosafa Cup.
The squad, made up of young developmental players, won the tournament after claiming a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Senegal at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on Sunday afternoon.
“It was not easy, but even those boys who were struggling with injuries, they had to continue fighting, they had to continue playing,” Ramoreboli said.
“I think they understood that they are no longer playing for any other thing except the badge, except for the country and they did that very well. I’m so excited, I’m happy.
“Last year we managed to win it (the Cosafa Under-17 Championship) with Under-17s and here we are again with Bafana today. It’s a great achievement.
“It is through hard work and the support we got from the association, it made things very easy for us,” he added.
Bafana can certainly take a lot of positives from their fifth Cosafa Cup win. They did not concede a single goal in the tournament and had won all of their games in normal time prior to the final.
The main purpose of the Cosafa Cup is to allow up-and-coming players to make a name for themselves and show that they have potential to shine at the highest level.
Ramoreboli managed to ensure that as many of the players as possible played as none of the squad members played in every game of the tournament, including captain Veli Mothwa.
“In football we have what we called tactical endurance. We had to rely on them to execute whatever we drilled, even under pressure and there was a stage where I kept on saying to them, ‘let’s play with our hearts’ because I could see they were becoming tired.
“But they had to remember, they can’t give up and they had to go through extra-time with the same spirit.” said Ramoreboli.
Bafana Bafana’s next challenge will now be to prepare for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. They are due to start their campaign against neighbours Zimbabwe in September.
The qualifiers will be tough for coach Hugo Broos’s side given that they will be playing against Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia.
Should Bafana manage to attain qualification for the World Cup, it would be the first time since 2002 that they would have qualified for the showpiece via the competitive process.
They qualified for the 2010 World Cup as hosts.