Bafana, Santana under pressure

Friday, October 9, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana and head coach Joel Santana are under extreme pressure to turn the tide of South African football, by bringing home wins against Norway and Iceland.

Santana has recently come under fire following the national team's string of poor performances especially after the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Bafana will play friendly matches against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium on Saturday, and on Tuesday, the team will play against Iceland in Reykjavik.

While Santana maintains that friendly matches can not be used as adequate measures to assess a team, fans on the other hand want him to face the music if he continues with his losing streak.

Earlier this week, South African Football Association (SAFA) President Kirsten Nematandani announced the appointment of Supersport United coach and former national coaches Jomo Sono and Clive Barker to assess the national team's performance.

According to Nematandani, the trio will closely monitor the national team's performance and then submit their reports to the association's executive committee.

Hunt and the two former national coaches will be present during Bafana's friendly matches against Norway and Iceland.

Under the leadership of Santana, the national team played 26 matches, winning 10, losing 12 and drawing four.

Steven Pienaar's absence is likely to impact negatively on Bafana, as sensational midfielder Teko Modise might find it difficult to shoulder the responsibility of frustrating their opponents in the middle of the park without an experienced Pienaar.

Pienaar was pulled out from the team after he picked up a knee-strain and had been replaced by Ajax Cape Town's star left wing Franklin Cale.

Modise also missed Bafana's previous three international friendly matches due to injury.

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