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Igesund at peace

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CAPE TOWN — Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he is at peace with his job as national team coach and does not see the loss to Nigeria as his lowest moment in the hot seat thus far.

MTN Football

Asked questions about whether his mandate was to win the African Nations Championship and whether being knocked out in the group stages by Nigeria (3-1 in Cape Town) was his lowest moment so far as coach Igesund said: “I am at peace where I am with regards to my job at the moment.

“I had no mandate for this tournament. We did what we could with what was available in terms of players.

“I can list the likes of Andile Jali, Tsepo Masilela, Oupa Manyisa, Yeye Letsholonyane, Bongani Zungu – there are about seven players not here who would have been part of my starting line-up.
“But we have a target to qualify for the Nations Cup in 2015 and that is the main objective.

“We will have a chance along the line to play Nigeria again. Hopefully we will get our win over them.

“Let me congratulate coach Stephen Keshi and his team. They capitalised on our mistakes and physically they were better than us. We were beaten by a team that was better than us.

“Nigeria deserved it. We will regroup and start over again.”
Bafana Bafana striker Bernard Parker has admitted that Nigeria were physically too strong for South Africa in the host nation’s disappointing 3-1 loss in Cape Town.

The result sends Bafana Bafana crashing out the CHAN 2014 tournament, a bitter disappointment for coach Gordon Igesund, his players and the thousands of supporters who flocked to Cape Town Stadium for the match against the Super Eagles.

Parker, who scored from the penalty spot, to give Bafana some level of hope in the game said: “I think today we fought hard and we went into tackles and battled hard.

“But the Nigerian guys were just stronger than us and they won every dual.
“They also won all the second balls and every time we tried to compete with them, physically, we ended up making mistakes.
“Then when we made mistakes they would capitalise on our mistakes.”

Parker, a veteran of the team with over 60 caps and 22 goals, paints quite a clear picture of where South African football is right now.

As pacey and skillful as many of the Bafana players are, if you cannot compete physically then powerful teams like Nigeria will eat you for breakfast.

In many areas of Sunday’s encounter, Nigeria were totally dominant and, as Parker says, just too strong in the one on one duals.

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