Ntseki says Bafana ‘could have had a draw’ against Ghana

Bafana Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus listens carefully as head coach Molefi Ntseki talks to him during a training session .
Bafana Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus listens carefully as head coach Molefi Ntseki talks to him during a training session .
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana “could have had a draw” against Ghana‚ coach Molefi Ntseki said after his team’s 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations defeat in Cape Coast on Thursday night.

Despite his team having put up a fighting performance in defence‚ but offering little on the counterattack‚ Ntseki said he felt the game was balanced‚ with Bafana conceding in moments where Ghana displayed superior power and strength.

“We started a bit slow. Towards the second quarter of the match we started making combinations and started enjoying the game‚ opening them up‚” Ntseki said in his post-match press conference at Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

“And they had a very compact defence – every time we wanted to penetrate them through the middle they were very compact.

“As a result we ended up conceding from a transition moment. And I think our positioning was not that bad‚ apart from the ball being played through the legs of a player.

“But I think this was a very good match. We are disappointed that we have lost. It could have been maybe a draw.

“But unfortunately for us‚ they had to score the two goals. And if you look at how the two goals were scored it was more from power and strength‚ putting pressure on the ball‚ and then getting the second goal.

“I think credit must be given to the players‚ because I can’t fault them for effort. They did all that they had to do. And unfortunately it was not our day.”

Ntseki was asked by the Ghanaian media about sounding confident before the game‚ and if the Black Stars had exceeded his expectations.

“I think you have to understand how we operate as coaches. You select the team‚ you prepare the team to win‚ and you can’t be coming to a press conference to say‚ ‘I’m in this game to lose’‚” the coach responded.

“And if you look at the game it was more balanced. They had more power and strength in getting the goals. It was not like we were outplayed in the situations where we conceded.”

Bafana are expected to arrive in South Africa on Friday evening‚ with a day to prepare for tricky Sudan – who thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 4-0 in Omdurman on Wednesday – at Orlando Stadium on Sunday (kickoff 3pm).

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