Gordon Igesund's starting line-up against Angola was far more offensive as he opted for only one holding midfielder, while also playing two strikers, even three, if Bernard Parker could also be counted.
The main objective in the 0-0 draw with Cape Verde, especially in the first half, appeared to be about keeping the opponents at bay.
In Durban it was a different story as Bafana set about taking the game to Angola from the outset.
"I told the players to believe in themselves," Igesund said. "I told them I believe in them.
"We played only one holding midfielder and I was confident the holding player [Dean Furman] would do the job [defensively] with the back four, and they did.
"Obviously I gambled. I said to myself I'm not scared to lose, and if I can tell the players I'm not scared to lose that's why we went the way we went."
Former Afcon-winning goalkeeper Andre Arendse was also pleased to see South Africa adopting a more positive attitude and being more incisive in their forward forays.
"It was not so much our passing game, but the outcome of the passes," he explained.
"We know we can put a string of passes together, but in the past Bafana have been criticised for passing sideways and backwards.
"The possession stats have always been good for us without really meaning anything.
"But today Dean Furman, and May Mahlangu when he was on the field, they were really in the thick of things and we looked to get the ball to our strikers as early as possible," said Arendse.
It is however still far too early to get carried away with one win; Bafana's four points by no means guarantee their passage into the next round, something Igesund is aware of.
"Each game is different and there may be a different scenario going into the last game and lets see where we stand.
"We don't want to get too carried away because its only one win.
"I think I have made it very clear before that I have no favouritism in my team. I select a team that will do the job on that specific day against specific opposition."