Bafana disappointed by early CHAN exit

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has apologised to the nation after the team bowed out early from the CHAN 2014 tournament.

South Africa lost 3-1 to Nigeria in their final Group A match played at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday evening.

“It is very disappointing that we are out of the tournament, being the hosts. We were hoping to advance to the quarterfinals and go all the way to the finals. So we are very disappointed that we lost to Nigeria.

“They had their chances and took them. We did our best in terms of creating scoring chances, but their goalkeeper was one of the best players on the park and denied us numerous times.

“We are not happy that we conceded three goals. I would like to apologise to the nation on behalf of the team for not going through. We did everything we could but it was not good enough on the day. We took the game to them, attacked them very well, but they were solid.

“They got one move and they punished us, and then the penalty that killed us,” said Tshabalala, the most capped player in the current squad, with 86 appearances for the country.

Tshabalala said the players, just like the nation, were “hurting over the results”.

“It is always disappointing when we don’t deliver, especially with the nation rallying behind us. We cannot point fingers at anybody, but we need to forge ahead, hopefully we will be a better team going forward.

“It is honestly hurting – we are hurting and we know the nation is also hurting, and we are not proud of not doing well, but we just have to apply ourselves better in future,” he said.

Bafana Bafana were outplayed and out-muscled off the park by a Nigerian side that needed nothing, but victory to proceed to the last eight of the tournament.

South Africa needed a draw, but it was not to be. Tshabalala reflected on the match and apologised for the early exit. -