Bongani Zungu: Against Ivory Coast, I felt that defensively we were good. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAIRO – Bongani Zungu chose to look at the positives of a Bafana Bafana performance that has been described as poor and left the South African Football Association (Safa) president, Danny Jordaan unimpressed.

Bafana hardly got into second gear in their 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast in their opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). The attack was so poor that they didn’t have a single shot on target. But according to Zungu, it wasn’t all that bad.

“I felt that defensively we were good,” Zungu said. “We knew their threat on the side, we dealt with it. But we should have done much better offensively. We had a meeting and a debriefing of that game, we should improve offensively.

But the positive is that we were solid defensively. The guys were working hard. We just take the positives towards the next match.”

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will make changes to the squad that took on the Elephants when South Africa takes on Namibia tonight at Al Salam Stadium. Bafana must win this match to keep their chances of reaching the last 16 alive.

“We have to be quicker,” Zungu said. “I feel like we need to be more mobile on the ball and off the ball. We should get it right, and if we do get it right we should win the game.”

The Brave Warriors will be a tough mental test for Bafana because Namibia has nothing to lose. A defeat for them would be nothing out of the ordinary.

They have embraced their underdog tag in a tough Group D that’s led by Morocco and Ivory Coast while South Africa and Namibia lag behind.

“We have too much quality here,” Zungu said. “We just need to regain the confidence going forward. Tournaments like this are about making a name for yourself. We need to remember though that the team comes first.

Had we got a positive result against Ivory Coast, we would be talking a different story. We just need to win as a team, it doesn’t matter who scores. It doesn’t matter how we get the win, we just need to grind results at time.”

Bongani Zungu of South Africa during a training session in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Bongani Zungu of South Africa during a training session in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Zungu continued: “I felt that we could have got one point against Ivory Coast because if you look at how they got their goal, it was that 27 second after we lost the ball. We intercepted the ball and should have made a run forward, we lost it and they scored quickly.

“It’s all in the past, we have to try our best to be positive and whoever the coach puts must try their best to help the team win.”

Things will not get easier for Bafana as they have to face the Atlas Lions after Namibia.

“That’s their opinion, if Morocco feels that they can beat us then so be it,” Zungu said. “We just need to be humble.

“We need to try and win. We just need to win and progress. If they feel that they can get the three points, we will see on the day of the game. It should be a good game because both teams will want to play.

“We just have to take care of Namibia first.”

Malik Said