Shakes Mashaba, the 64-year-old Bafana mentor said that his team will play with confidence in their next game against African champions Nigeria on Wednesday night.
The new looking Bafana Bafana side secured a vital 3-0 win over Sudan in their opening match of the 2015 AFCON qualifying campaign at the Al-Merrikh Stadium in Khartoum on Friday night although coach Shakes Mashaba admitted after the game that some of the boys never thought beating the Falcons was possible.
“Going into the Nigeria game, the boys will be confident because some of them never thought they would win here,” said Mashaba after the match.
“I’ve been saying that we need to win this game in order to put wheels under our feet. This is a good thing for us to have happened,” he added.
Mashaba admitted that his charges nearly allowed Sudan to punish them in the first half, but he was impressed with the way goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa and his defense played on the night despite being put under pressure.
“Things worked according to our plan, though we nearly fluffed it in the first half,” said Mashaba.
“We told the boys that the first 20-30 minutes were going to be tough because they would throw the game at us. Our defense stood very well at the back and the goalkeeper did very well.
“In the last 10 minutes of the first half you could see fatigue was taking its toll on the Sudan team because they doubled their efforts in the first 35 minutes and they couldn’t get a goal,” he added.
The coach went on to commend the home side’s support at the Stadium, and he urged South Africans to get behind the team when they take on Nigeria in Cape Town on Wednesday.
“If you look at the crowd here, even when the score was 3-0, they were still cheering for their team, and you look at the stands they were fully packed, which is what we need to start doing at home,” said Mashaba.