'chile not hot, dirty'
Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana has put the blame for their embarrassing midweek defeat by Chile squarely on the "dirty game" by the South Americans.
"They played very dirty, kicking us badly," said Santana, who was quick to point out that this was not an excuse for the loss.
Chile ended Bafana Bafana's hopes of a sixth win on the trot by beating the 2010 World Cup hosts 2-0 in Polokwane on Wednesday.
The loss came a few hours after Bafana Bafana moved up four places in the Fifa world rankings to 70th spot, while Chile dropped down one place to 31st.
Santana said if their clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium was in an official Fifa competition, most of Chile's players would have been sent off.
"The game was balanced. The same chances they created, we also had them but the problem is that we failed to convert ours," he said. "Chile are a very strong team, not very talented but they know what they want.
"We did not give quality passes to [Teko] Modise and [Siphiwe] Tshabalala. Our midfield was not strong, we also played high balls which is not what Benni [McCarthy] likes.
"The other problem is that we attacked hurriedly."
The Brazilian urged South Africans not to panic with the Confederations Cup around the corner. He said they will have to play more games against strong opposition like Chile to identify their weaknesses and strengths ahead of the June tournament.
"We were badly exposed, but Safa should get more top countries to help Bafana Bafana prepare before the Confederations Cup," said soccer fan Ike Kola.
After failing to qualify for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola, Bafana Bafana have lined up friendlies to prepare for the World Cup.
They play Norway in Phokeng on March 27, Portugal in Switzerland on March 31 and Poland in Bloemfontein on June 6 before the Confederations Cup in June.
The proposed February 17 match against Angola or Mozambique in Atteridgeville is off due to club competitions, team manager Sipho Nkumane announced yesterday.
Marcelo Bielsa, Chile's coach, was full of praise for the South Africans for their hospitality during their stay in the country.
Bielsa was also happy with the win, saying it augurs well for their World Cup campaign.