tour taught us to work as unit

BAFANA Bafana star of the moment Siphiwe Tshabalala describes the South America tour as beneficial and is convinced the experience will be crucial for the 2010 World Cup.

BAFANA Bafana star of the moment Siphiwe Tshabalala describes the South America tour as beneficial and is convinced the experience will be crucial for the 2010 World Cup.

Some soccer experts argued the tour was a waste of money after Bafana Bafana played against third-string and reserve sides.

They said Bafana Bafana should instead have played against National First Division teams and neighbouring countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Malawi.

Bafana Bafana played nine matches, won five, drew three and lost one against Santos.

One of the draws was a 1-1 stalemate with Paraguay, in which Tshabalala scored a beauty.

Paraguay, who fielded a second-string team in that match, have also qualified for the World Cup.

"I must say we have learnt a lot during the tour, the main thing being to keep possession," said Tshabalala, who was the team's top goal-scorer with five goals.

"It was back to school for us in Brazil as we learnt about the basics of the game, including how to defend, attack, convert and defend se pieces as well as scoring goals.

"The most important thing we learnt is that we need to work as a unit. It was also good that we are beginning to score goals.

"The team is gelling and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel."

Stand-in captain Teko Modise shared Tshabalala's sentiments, adding that the experience will be beneficial to Bafana Bafana.

"We might have played against against reserve sides and Under-20s in the process, but the quality of those teams was beneficial to Bafana Bafana," he said.

Safa is reported to have spent R8million on the tour and president Kirsten Nematandani voiced his happiness with Bafana's progress ahead of the World Cup.

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