Gift Motupa credits Pirates' Confederation Cup experience for U-23 AFCON impact
Posted: 3 December 2015 Time: 13:21
Gift Motupa feels he and Menzi Masuku brought "a little bit of CAF experience" to the national U-23 side in the 3-2 win over Zambia at the U-23 AFCON.
The Orlando Pirates pair missed South Africa's tournament opener - a 3-1 loss to hosts Senegal - as they were representing their club in the Confederation Cup Final against Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel on the weekend.
However, the midfielders impressed on their international return against the Zambians, netting all three goals between them in Dakar on Tuesday.
"I think we brought a little bit of CAF experience because we were competing at a higher level, that’s why we performed well. Having said that, we don’t want to take the glory because I think we worked hard as a team," Motupa said.
"The whole team showed a lot of commitment and that is why we got the result. It is not just about Menzi and me, the whole team played a crucial role in our victory, and we are hoping the next game we will all do the same. We made our nation proud, we were working for each other."
Owen da Gama's charges next face Tunisia on Friday, needing a win or a draw to advance to the semi-finals of the competition along with Group A winners Senegal.
Motupa has faith the team can overcome the North Africans at Caroline Faye Stadium in M'Bour. Kick-off has been moved to 19h00 (SA time).
"We are looking forward to the clash against Tunisia which we know is not going to be easy because both countries want to qualify for the semi-finals. We are expecting a very tough match but we are ready. We are mentally prepared and we need to work even harder than we did against Zambia and the rest will follow."
The top three finishers at the event will qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.