JOHANNESBURG – FOLLOWING a crushing 3-1 defeat in their 2017 Africa cup of Nations qualifier to Mauritania in Nouakchott, on Sunday, midfielder Dean Furman said the side were bitterly disappointed.
“It hurts to have to lose like that but we know the performance wasn’t good enough and that is why there were a lot of disheartened players at the end of the game,” said Furman after the match.
“But we are team, we are together in the good times and we stick together in the hard times but we will grow and also learn from this.”
South Africa conceded a goal early when captain Itumeleng Khune failed to gather free kick directed straight as he fumbled the ball which crossed the line to gift the hosts a 1-0 lead.
“We are very disappointed; the game did not go according to plan. We found ourselves a goal down very early on and wanted to weather the storm. I felt we controlled the game but we were sloppy with the ball, tried to break down a team that had all the players sitting behind the ball waiting for a counter attack,” said Furman.
“Our ball retention and use of the ball had to be far better than what we displayed on the day. Credit must also go to Mauritania, they played well managing to catch us on the counter attack with their second and third goals and the sending off which turned the game into their favour even more. We are highly disappointed with the result and it is important for us to put it right as soon as possible.”
In contrast to Bafana’s previous campaign in the qualifiers where they topped their group, South Africa now find themselves at the bottom of the group with two matches played.
“It is truly a disappointing start looking back at the last qualifiers where we were top of our group from the first couple of games so to be in a different position, at the bottom of the group is not where we want to be but we have the ability, the talent, and the team to put things right and that’s what we have to focus on going forward.” – ANA