Kgomotso Sethusha and Ramatsiyi Moholoa
MEMORIES may be faint for the many, yet for one Clive Barker they are still vivid as daylight.
On the brink of one of his greatest Bafana Bafana victories, Barker contrived to sink his team to a 3-2 defeat to Brazil with fatal tactical decisions.
Still basking in the glow of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations glory, Bafana showed scant respect to the then world champions, pushing them around and almost pulling off one of football's shocking wins, but for Doctor Khumalo's exit.
Bafana Bafana have another chance to erase memories of that April 1996 clash at FNB Stadium when they take on Brazil in a Confederations Cup semifinal tomorrow night at Ellis Park.
Former skipper Lucas Radebe believes the Bafana class of 2009 needs to adopt a more attack-minded approach if they are to beat the South Americans.
"The team must go all out for goals. The coach [Joel Santana] must be bold enough to say he's sorry for making the team so defensive," Radebe said.
Yesterday Khumalo recalled events of 15 years ago when the team threw away a famous win.
"Many people still blame Clive for the tactics he applied on the day, particularly his substitutions," says Khumalo. "They still think he was wrong but being a good coach he made those substitutions for his own reasons..
"Yes, he did everything right on the night but blundered terribly with substitutions. I remember Mario Zagallo applauding at my substitution and that of John [Moeti] also got yanked."
Khumalo said that gave the Brazilians a way back into the game they eventually won after trailing 2-0 at the break.
Explained Barker: "Doc hadn't trained and the decision made was part of the plan. We played positively and dominated Brazil ."
Khumalo said Bafana wore their hearts on their sleeves that night and enjoyed their game. He counsels a similar approach for Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise and Tsepo Masilela and company for the clash tomorrow night.
"They should believe in themselves and must not look at the faces and the names. We are good in certain departments just as they are in others. We should play to our strengths and never allow to counter-attack.
Said Barker: "We should deploy two strikers, four midfielders with quick wingers and four defenders with overlapping fullbacks.
"Masilela has done well and he should be encouraged to go forward. We shouldn't let Kaka and Robinho do their thing."