Bafana Bafana forward Percy Tau has taken the blame upon his and the attackers’ shoulders for their AFCON defeat to Ivory Coast.
Bafana’s opener on Monday afternoon was somewhat of an anti-climax for many South Africans who anticipated a fiery affair against The Elephants.
The performance was dull and hardly entailed the sort of excitement witnessed during the qualification campaign, that saw the team’s exciting attack that brushed aside Nigeria, Seychelles and Libya.
But, in carying the nations hopes on his slender shoulders, the lionhearted 25-year-old showed great maturity and leadership as he had no qualms taking responsibility for the team having carved out just two attempts on target throughout the match.
“I think if we got our touches in attack it was going to be better, but then we couldn’t do that and we couldn’t get into the game,” explained Tau to the media after the match.
“I couldn’t get into the match, but I don’t think [it was because] they were too physical – that’s what we expected.
“If we got our plan right, it was going to be a different story. I don’t think, if you look at them, you’ll see a huge difference [to us].
“But if we did our attack properly, it was going to be a different story. As good as they are, we could have done better in our attack and it wouldn’t have been 1-0.”
The diminutive forward, who netted four goals during the six qualifying matches, further excused the performance as ‘first-match jitters’, vowing to improve in their next Group D encounter with COSAFA rivals Namibia.
“But this was the first match, I think in the second match we’ll see a lot of improvement from us, and from myself also,” he added.
“We are also excited to play against Namibia, and we look forward to the match. We just have to watch our own game and see what it is that we needed to do much better in our attack. And to defend better as a team, [even though] I think we did that well.”
Bafana will lock horns with the Brave Warriors, who also suffered a 1-0 defeat in their opener against Morocco, on Friday evening (22h00 SA time).