Bafana on Brazilian winning spree

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana have defeated yet another top Brazilian team, Boavista, 2-0 during a preparatory match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Granja Comary in Rio de Janeiro.

This was Bafana's third warm-up match at their Brazilian training camp after they played to a goalless draw against Volta Redonda on Saturday and then walloped Fluminense 8-0 on Sunday.

During Monday's match, the first goal came from Siphiwe Tshabalala in the 30th minute following a rebound from the Boavista goalkeeper. Tshabalala has so far scored three goals in three games.

The second goal came in the 54th minute through Lebohang "Cheeseboy" Mokoena. The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts have not yet lost or concede a single goal at the training matches in Brazil.

SAFA media officer, Matlhomola Morake, said the clash against Boavista was fast-paced and it produced some hard running, many spirited challenges and proved to be a lot tougher than the previous two matches.

Bafana head coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, said the training camp has so far been a success.

"We should have won the first game as well but, make no mistake, we are not there yet. We still have a lot of work ahead of us and we will continue working hard.

"I am happy about the wins, but the main idea remains to grow this side to a formidable team that will be super fit, can keep shape, keep possession and finish off strongly. My keepers have not been tested, which means we are doing something right in defence," he said.

Like other previous games, the coach used two sets of eleven players for each half. Teko Modise captained the team in the first half whilst Lance Davids led the side in the second half.

"The idea of using 11 different players for each half is two-fold. It was a chance to see as many players as I could and also because our players were not ready for a full 90-minute session after a hectic and shortened PSL season.

"In the next match against Cruzeiro, I am going to use one team for the match because we need to start narrowing down our team for the FIFA World Cup. I have an idea who they are and these remaining matches will give us some direction," Parreira said.

Orlando Pirates goal keeper, Moeneeb Josephs, said the team is playing to their strengths and everything is falling nicely into place.

"The past three games have proven to be a good exercise with the emphasis on keeping possession and putting the ball on the ground and that is what we have been doing.

"Also another crucial aspect of this camp is that we are learning to be a group, to be a unit because that will be crucial at the FIFA World Cup," Josephs said.

Striker Richard Henyekane said: "Things have been going well and according to plan. I have also been impressed by the facilities here which make training all the more enjoyable."

He said they used the three matches to evaluate where they have been going wrong as a team.

"What we saw in the teams that we played against is that they have good ball possession skills and that is very crucial in that if done perfectly it can easily frustrate opponents and lead to victory," he said.

On Wednesday, Bafana Bafana will play against Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte before they tackle Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

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