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Bafana lessons learnt from 2014 CHAN opener

Posted: 13 January 2014 Time: 08:30

The 2014 African Nations Championships kicked off on Saturday night, and the hosts did not disappoint, putting Mozambique to the sword with a 3-1 win at Cape Town Stadium. 

The match was lit up by a pile-driver from Hlompho Kekana; the only surprise that the ball didn’t rip the net.

The performance was far from being fine-tuned though. This was to be expected as the team had not played any competitive games together to build combinations and forge out cohesion.

As some players were new to the set-up and the side was new to us, going forward into the subsequent games of the tournament we now know what to expect. This is what we learnt from that match:

* The left-back position has always been problematic for Bafana, with regular Tsepo Masilela prone to injuries, and the replacements have not been convincing when given a chance. Given that the coach has asked the public to be patient with him regarding calling up youngsters, not many expected him to call a young lad to fill the gap left by Masilela’s injury. Nevertheless, he gave a chance to Thato Mokeke, a 20-year-old from Ajax Cape Town. His performance was stable and hardly showed any signs of nerves. Going forward, Igesund has added a new player to choose from in the left-back pool, and this one looks good for the future.

* By now, Bryce Moon should be calling the Bafana right-back position his own. After struggling early on in his career, he is now more mature and knows what to do, and when to do it. He is calm and can read the game better. He is no longer confused about whether he plays right-wing or right-back and when to switch to either role during the game.

* Lerato Chabangu is perhaps still in a festive mood; his performance against the Mambas was well below par. He seemed lost at all times, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t start another game at CHAN. Lerato probably needs a break. The best of him will come after that.

* Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mashego has confirmed what many knew all along. International football is beyond his means, and the times of convincing us otherwise are over. This will probably be his last outing with Bafana, even if he tops the PSL scoring charts.

* Bernard Parker is a man on a mission. He is making everyone stand up and take notice. Not that anyone was not noticing him, but the kind of noticing that indicate he is about to do something great. He currently sits two goals behind Katlego Mphela’s tally in Bafana’s all time leading goalscorers’ list and 11 off Benni McCarthy. The Parker fest is about to continue and the question is looming: will he be considered among the greats to don the green and yellow?

* Kekena could be the one to benefit most from this tournament and instill himself as a Bafana regular. Bafana are blessed with talent in midfield, and with Reneilwe Letsholonyane out injured and the other regulars also absent, the Sundowns man will make his case in this tournament. We can then talk about who he should replace when everyone is available againshall talk then, who should he dispose of in the Bafana regular midfield packing order.

Thato Bosoga
*Follow Thato on Twitter @ThatoB_

Livefyre comments on this story...

ticoMP
posted: 2014-01-13 06:54:15

our domestic players/league has flair and and style. wen we add dows overseas based players and those foreign coaches wil shooting ourselves

Nietszche
posted: 2014-01-13 06:56:58

Verdict: only Parker is flawless? I think discrediting Mashego and others in such negative darkness is being unrealistic.

What I notice is that injured Maselela and Letsholonyane played very well in absentia

Dooba
posted: 2014-01-13 07:30:15

Good Bosoga... but what about the fact that Nthethe has sealed his role as bafana's version of Ndumiso Mabena, save that he let goals in while his gorilla counter-part prevents them from gettin in? Please let us look at Nthethe's role, his age... we have a problem with players who mature late in football- the so-called late bloomers--- and Nthethe is the worsed of them all. I see Aaron Mokoena reincarnated.

Dooba
posted: 2014-01-13 07:31:35

Parker is already mana of the tourney... what a player this man is.

vutomim
posted: 2014-01-13 07:49:49

Lindo... Mbhatha for me deserve the credit. He seem to be the only player in SA who can play the right wing properly. He's got pace which he uses very well, skill and confidence to take on the defense. Also, his overall awareness of the game seem to improve each game. 


Please Bobby and Baxter get this champ to Chiefs, we tired seeing Shabba forced into that position

Supaboy
posted: 2014-01-13 07:58:27

From the openings performance (and what we need to improve on) my suggestion for the game against Mali would be:

                                     Manqele

                         Parker


Tshabalala     Kekana     Vilakazi (Chabangu)     Mbatha (Mbekile)


                               Gumede (Pattison)


Matlaba                     Nthethe                       Mashamaite


                                 Khune



KING?
posted: 2014-01-13 08:21:08

SupaboyMatlaba Chief?

superkhosi
posted: 2014-01-13 08:29:16

KING? Supaboy Matlaba...bannnnnna

Supaboy
posted: 2014-01-13 08:33:50

KING?  Supaboy yes, we need an experienced right back against Mali and Nigeria. Thato Mokeke is good but the boy is still nervous. Or maybe make matlaba a half-time substitute for Mokeke. 

Madrid-Dortmund-Manchester-Chiefs fan
posted: 2014-01-13 08:40:57

Matlaba is not dar n his playng left-back, nt rght

Supaboy
posted: 2014-01-13 08:42:42

Madrid-Dortmud-Machester-Chiefs fan then lets slot in Mokeke 

lifek4
posted: 2014-01-13 08:52:25


Bafana Bafana Played very well in their first game, like the coach I was happy to see the boys enjoying themselves, yes there is still room for improvement. What a wonder Goal from Hlompo Kekana , he is well known for those kind of goals(What kind of goals that we see on daily basis? Mediocre continued). The CHAN Tournament has stated with a Bang, the opening ceremony was a master peace, Big up South Africa and the rest of Africa on that note; the disappointing thing was the attendance at the opening ceremony(it was poor). Thanks to GI for coming up with good game plane, which is why we were all over Mozambique.

As GI say “It might not have been a classic performance but it wasn't a bad one. At the end of the day I think we were the better side and scored same decent goals and had full control of the 90 minutes," I agree with him.Good luck boys on your next game, we are behind you, No Mediocrity way of thinking will stop us. Go Bafana Bafana Go !!!!!!

Muzzi10
posted: 2014-01-13 09:23:15

Supaboy Please see the selected players and draft yo 1st 11 correctly.

Muzzi10
posted: 2014-01-13 09:26:30

well done to Bafana, Please make us proud and qualify for the last 16 and go all the way to win the tournanment. GI credits to you. Whoever doesn't see yo vision is blind. Hope SAFA will continue to support even with the International Players for the call of National Duty. Ilove My Country, I love my Team.

TebzaBhakajuju
posted: 2014-01-13 10:06:09

Nietszche  Strange that he also says whoever played in the absence of Masilela hasnt played well for BB. I bet he hasnt watched BB when Matlaba was playing?

PhefeniGlamour
posted: 2014-01-14 05:53:27

Supaboy Matlaba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????? which squad are you selecting from!?

PhefeniGlamour
posted: 2014-01-14 05:56:14

vutomim 

Which game were you watching Khosi!!! that Mbatha is just like Masango..full of running and no result to show for it. All the running he did, all the defenders he beat, and yet no shot on target, not a single cross that found a bafana striker 

PhefeniGlamour
posted: 2014-01-14 05:57:51

Dooba  I saw Aaron Mokoena in Bongani Khumalo....now he is in Nthenthe, hai this Aaron does not want to retire

PhefeniGlamour
posted: 2014-01-14 05:58:50

TebzaBhakajuju Nietszche  In all honesty, overall, Matlaba has been good for Bafana

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