Shakes Mashaba rues substitutions of Keagan Dolly and Thulani Serero
Posted: 12 November 2016 Time: 22:17
Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba rued the substitutions of Thulani Serero and Keagan Dolly as it swung momentum in Senegal's favour.
Bafana were left to hold on and fend off a late surge of attacks to walk away 2-1 victors over the Lions of Teranga at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
After bringing on Bradley Grobler for Eleazar Rodgers up front, the hosts begun to look even more threatening in attack as a glorious chance fell for Dolly, who failed to direct an attempt on target from inside the box with his weaker foot.
Midway through the half, though, a forced change saw the national under-23 star being replaced by Hlompho Kekana, which forced Bafana into a more defensive approach and allowed the visitors to come at them.
Mashaba, however, explained his decision to bring on the Mamelodi Sundowns anchorman in place of a winger, and admits the move did not work out as planned.
"Sometimes when we [make a] sub, people think why do we take out so-and-so, but the player indicates that he's got cramps," explained 'Bra Shakes'.
"Serero, and even Keagan, came and signalled that they have cramps, because if you look at after taking our Serero and Keagan, that's when they [Senegal] started coming for us.
"Because we never had a pacey player and we never had a skillful player, who forced them to play with their backs against the wall."
He added: "With Hlompho, what we wanted to do was to play with three centre-midfielders, but he was to play in front with the hopes that he would be able to utilise the [powerful] shot that he's got and finish up, but it didn't work like that."
Instead, Mashaba says it became more like a "tennis game" as both teams resorted to long balls, with the visitors pushing to get an equaliser and the hosts having to clear their lines.
"It became more like a tennis game, if you looked at it – they got the ball and played it [to one end]; we win it and play it [to the other end] – rather than keeping it," he noted.
"We did it three or four times where we kept [the ball] and nearly scored two goals."
The former Swaziland national team coach further mentioned that he would prefer not to make any substitutions during a match.
"It's against our will to substitute. If things were going according to me, I woudn't sub my starting team. It's dangerous, because by the time you sub the pace of the game is too high and the new player is some kilometres behind the other players on the picth," he concluded.