We are on the right track – Igesund

FILE PIC. Gordon Igesund coach of South Africa. Picture: BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana’s surprise 1-0 victory over world champions Spain on Tuesday night indicated they are benefiting from a clear strategy outline, coach Gordon Igesund said on Wednesday.

“In the last 15 months or so, we’ve had a plan and sometimes these plans take time,” Igesund said.

“We’ve been on the right track for a while now and tonight’s performance was absolutely excellent.

“I don’t think we should get carried away. It was a good performance, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Igesund said the national soccer team needed to remain realistic in the build-up towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Bernard Parker’s clinical second-half finish handed Bafana the historic victory, leaving Igesund a pleased man, despite having failed to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

“We never qualified for the World Cup, but we beat the world champions,” he said.

“From a personal point of view, it’s always good to win a match, whether it’s against Swaziland or the world champions.

“The players worked their socks off. We had to chase hard because they move the ball so well and so quickly.”

Parker coolly finished off a flowing move by the home side, as Spain were brushed aside and had no reply, in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Igesund said he was looking forward to watching his young squad continue to grow in confidence, with more international experience aiding them in future tournaments.

“In five years’ time, can you imagine these players with 50 caps under their belts?” Igesund said.

“Some of these players only have one or two caps. We need to get that experience.

“It was a good game of football. We played against a fantastic team.”

Igesund will now shift his focus to the upcoming Caf Championship of Nations (Chan) tournament, which starts in January next year, but a concern will be the availability of his players.

The Chan tournament is not a Fifa-sanctioned event, and as a result Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams are not obligated to release players to the national team.

Igesund remained hopeful that he would have the strongest squad available.

“Whether we get all of our players for the Chan tournament is another question,” he said.

“It’s not a Fifa month, the PSL has scheduled two games in that period and [it’s] not giving teams much option to release their players.

“I don’t want to get involved in that. I’m a coach and the SA Football Association will handle that.

“But I certainly believe that the players deserve the opportunity to play in the Chan tournament.”

Sapa

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