Bafana skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo rates maiden meeting with Libya, delights in clean sheet
Posted: 10 September 2018 Time: 16:30
Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has taken solace in their defensive display from the disappointing goalless draw against Libya over the weekend.
Bafana were thwarted by the 101st-ranked Mediterranean Knights in their round two Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Group E clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
The result puts early pressure on Stuart Baxter’s charges after failing to capitalise on home soil, while Nigeria have moved to within a point thanks to a convincing win over Seychelles.
It was a typically frustrating day in front of goal as Bafana failed to break down the Libyan defensive structures. However, Hlatshwayo was delighted to have kept a clean sheet in his own department.
“Defensively I think we did well. We managed to make sure that we don’t concede,” defended Hlatshwayo.
“With their tall striker, in the first few minutes he gave us problems but we managed to fix that part of our game, and we created chances.
“Obviously in this game it wasn’t clear chances but those half-chances – we could have taken advantage of those because we were playing at home and needed a result. But we’ll take a draw and move forward.”
Having come up against Libya for the first time in South Africa’s football history, the skipper also felt the competition wasn’t as challenging, insisting their defensive tactics allowed for them to come away with a point.
“I don’t think it was that challenging because the coach didn’t elaborate on them. He checked out how they play and everything, and you could see they only came for a draw,” he added.
“They dropped deep and parked the bus, and we tried to move the ball but couldn’t do it as fluently as we’ve always done, like we did in the training game against AmaZulu. But on game day we didn’t really capitalise on what we were working on [in training].”