Bafana Bafana captain Siyanda Xulu rallies troops ahead of COSAFA Plate semi-final
Posted: 4 June 2018 Time: 19:30
Bafana Bafana captain Siyanda Xulu has rallied his troops ahead of their COSAFA Cup plate semi-final, and says they need to restore the country’s pride.
Bafana crashed out of the COSAFA Cup after losing 4-3 to underdogs Madagascar in their quarter-final clash on Sunday afternoon.
While fans’ heads dropped in disappointment, Xulu, who was named captain by coach Stuart Baxter for the ongoing tournament, feels it is important to consider that the squad had limited time to prepare for their opening fixture.
“I think it was a fair game, I thought we got some good opportunities, which if we had put away we would have been talking a different language now,” Xulu told SAFA.
“But it’s part of the game – if you don’t convert your chances, you end up losing the game. Performance-wise, individually and from the team, it was a fair performance.
“We should have done better, obviously, but you have to remember that we only had a few days with the squad. For sure, though, it’s a huge disappointment because we wanted to win.”
With little optimism from the nation as Bafana next face Namibia in the plate semi-final on Tuesday evening, the newly-crowned Absa Premiership defender of the season says they need to solider on and make amends in the remainder of the competition.
“It’s very difficult [to stomach the defeat] because we were playing at home and we wanted to win, but on the other side we have another game coming up so we have to soldier on,” he added.
“We have to be professionals, there’s no other way we can try and challenge what we’re facing now. Whatever mistakes we made and whatever we need to correct, we’re going to have to implement it in the next few days.
“The main prize is gone, but we have to play for the plate – we have to do it for the nation and bring back our pride, We have a few days to rectify that, and I think it’s obviously a bitter pill to swallow for now but we have to soldier on and face the next challenge.”
Kick-off between South Africa and Namibia at the Old Peter Mokaba is scheduled for 17h00 on Tuesday evening.