Gordon purrs after Bafana win

FILE PICTURE: Gordon Igesund (Head coach of Bafana Bafana). Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

It is perhaps because Bafana Bafana tend to be so inconsistent that some, in the aftermath of their good 3-1 win over Mozambique in the opening match of Chan here on Saturday, were worried by the hosts’ wastefulness.

South Africa’s attacking intent was a big feature of their general play but they were also let down by some disappointing touches and wayward shots.

Yet coach Gordon Igesund is hardly worried.

“If you’re creating chances, you need to be happy with it,” he said.

“I’m happy if we create 20 chances and convert three of them because when last have you seen a competitive international game won 6-0? We scored three and did what we needed to do. I always thought that we looked like we were in for a few after we went behind early.”

The three balls in the back of the net though weren’t necessarily the most impressive aspects of an ideal victory.

Instead, it was Bafana’s willingness and ability to keep their attacking structure in place that was encouraging.

“I told the players at half-time that we were going to score two or three more goals if we kept our shape, worked hard and remained patient. Given the scoreline, we did exactly that and that’s exciting,” said Igesund.

“We had inexperienced players like Lindokuhle Mbatha, Thato Mokeke, Buhle Mkhwanazi and Asavela Mbekile during this game and sometimes they can be a little bit nervous out there, but I’m really pleased that we were able to bring them on and they performed very nicely.”

Delivering the type of offensive performance that Bafana showcased did also illustrate confidence, something skipper Itumeleng Khune wanted to highlight.

The dynamic shot-stopper was typically hard on himself for letting in Mozambique’s shock opener after his untimely slip on a surface watered too close to kick-off saw him not get a full glove on a weak, deflected shot.

For once though, Khune was allowed a reprieve – this time he didn’t need to provide the inspiration like he usually does.

“Conceding a goal of that nature was disappointing but the guys told me to immediately put my head up. I naturally needed to show leadership but I thought we showed character from 1-0 down. It was a really good result for us,” he said.

Igesund never had any doubts.

“In my humble opinion we were by far the better team. Mozambique gave us a fight but we had full control of the match throughout.”

Mali beat Nigeria 2-1 in the other Group A match on Saturday.

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