Bafana Bafana's Bongani Zungu credits team effort for African Nations Cup qualifying win over Nigeria
Posted: 11 June 2017 Time: 10:31
Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu says the team "went for the jugular" in a 2-0 win over Nigeria in their opening 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier in Uyo on Saturday.
Bafana beat the West Africans for the first time in a competitive fixture thanks to goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Zungu, who together with the tenacious Dean Furman stifled most of Nigeria’s progress in the engine room, said they knew they had to do something special to overcome this Super Eagles side teeming with big-name players based in Europe.
“We were up against a good team, Nigeria has some quality stars but we played to instructions, communicated with each other and the outcome was there for all to see,” said Zungu, who plays for Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal.
“We were compact in the opening 20 minutes but once we realised we can open them up, we went for the jugular and boy."
Zungu said the entire team knew that as the match progressed and with Nigeria not getting the opener, they would get frustrated and what happened thereafter is now history.
“I think in the end, the team need to be complimented for remaining level-headed especially in the opening minutes of the first half when they tried to put numbers upfront searching for that opening goal.
“And when Itu [Itumeleng Khune] released Percy Tau for the killer second goal, it was all over and could have scored a glut of goals thereafter. But all in all, this was a fantastic win for the team,” said Zungu.
The ex-Mamelodi Sundowns star said the back four of Erick Mathoho, Tebogo Langerman, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo played as if their lives depended on this game.
“They were disciplined and outstanding. That is what wins your away games; a solid defence especially in the opening minutes. Our guys never gave anything away.
“But Keagan Dolly and Dean also helped mop up the defence when they needed numbers.”
Zungu said he always relishes playing for the country and will continue to work hard and make the country proud.
“I am so excited with the result; this was a collective team effort; it is nice to bring happiness to the country,” he said with a smile.
Catch our cover interview, in which Zungu opens up about life in Portugal, in Issue 482 of KICK OFF – on sale now! Or DOWNLOAD a digital copy of the magazine here!