Brazilian mentor Dunga hails Bafana Bafana

Friday, June 26, 2009

Johannesburg - It took 88 minutes for Brazil to beat Bafana Bafana and the Samba Boys' Coach Dunga hailed South Africa for their outstanding performance during the thrilling FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal.

Addressing reporters, shortly after the match at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday, Coach Dunga said South Africa played exceptionally well and it was indeed a difficult match for both teams.

"We knew that it would be a difficult match. We knew that South Africa would attack and defend tactically.

"South African players were very quick on the ball and are skilful. It is always difficult to play a team which use a similar approach to the game as us, but we made it," said Dunga.

He said both teams were tactically exceptional and psychologically equipped, adding that the match was very close and physical.

"Our main characteristic of the game is to play the ball on the ground and attack, but South Africa was very cautious of our style and they did well in pressing us and defended very well," said the former Brazilian captain.

Dunga congratulated his homeboy, Bafana Bafana Coach, Joel Santana, for his team's performance, adding that South Africa will be one of the stronger sides in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It was in the last minutes that the Samba Kings broke the deadlock against a formidable Bafana Bafana squad as Daniel Alves's free kick made the difference, earning Dunga's men a berth into the Confederations Cup final.

Dunga admitted that sending Alves into the fray was the right decision and he was impressed that his decision earned the Brazilian team a vital win.

"The play was very closed, so I put in Alves because he is fast and a set piece specialist. He went out and did what he is best at," the coach said.

Wary of the United States after their shock victory over Spain, the Brazilian mentor remained respectful to his northern neighbours while hailing the performance of his most recent opponents.

"The USA has a peculiar way of playing and we will need to stay calm against them," he said.

He further said that Spain should also be wary of South Africa. "In this form, South Africa's defence will be difficult to penetrate for Spain," he said.

Dunga, who will face USA in the tournament's final, predicted that South Africa will possibly beat Spain in the match for third place, saying that Bafana Bafana are a dangerous team who are not intimidated by world acclaimed stars.

Bafana Bafana will play against Spain for third place at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg at 3pm on Sunday.

The Samba Kings will lock horns with President Barack Obama's boys on Sunday at the Ellis Park Stadium at 8:30pm after the closing ceremony which will start at 7pm.