Amokachi happy with draw, Mashaba rues missed opportunity
SUPER Eagles’ stand-in coach, Daniel Amokachi, is happy that his boys were able hold South Africa to a 1-1 draw despite the little time the team had to prepare for Sunday’s international friendly game.
But South Africa’s Coach, Shakes Mashaba, is not happy that his team missed a golden opportunity to beat Nigeria for the first time since 2004. The two bitter rivals shared the spoils at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, thanks to Ahmed Musa and Bongani Zungu strikes in the closing stages of the match.
Amokachi believes the result was not bad for the Super Eagles considering the fact that the majority of his players were making their debut against the more experienced South African side. “Well, I think we had a fair game of football on the day,” said Amokachi.
“We are coming from another game against Uganda away from home and 98 per cent of our players were having their first and second caps today (Sunday). “I think it is a fair result for our young team but when you are a goal up and concede in the last minute it is not good at all. But that’s football; the game will never end until the fat lady sings.
“And unfortunately it had to happen to us and we couldn’t win the game.” Also speaking on the game, Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba, said “I think our combinations worked well today, we created numerous chances to win the game but didn’t take them, but we played well and well done to the players today.”
The industrious Andile Jali squandered a glorious opportunity to head the home side into the lead in the 63rd minute when he missed a penalty although Nigerian goalkeeper, George Akpeyi did very well to deny the Belgian-based man with a one handed save. Nonetheless, Mashaba believes they had numerous chances before then to go ahead.
“I don’t want to talk about the missed penalty, because as I said, we had numerous chances to win the game before and after the penalty to go ahead. But it was a good performance, the boys should hold their heads up high,” Mashaba said.
He lamented the lack of leadership on the field, citing it could have helped the younger men out on the field seeing they were the dominant side throughout. “We were all over these guys, a quarter of the game and that’s when you need leaders to control the boys and take over.
But it [the game] has given us an idea as to where we are headed in carrying out our vision and also something to work on for our upcoming games,” Mashaba said. The draw is Bafana’s fourth in 12 official matches with the Super Eagles and third in three games after their successive draws in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers last year.
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