By Johnny Edward:
South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has admitted that the Super Eagles were lucky to get away with a draw in Wednesday’s AFCON qualifier in Cape Town.
The Super Eagles were supposed to come charging out after their home defeat to Congo but they had to settle for a point against a rejuvenated South African side led by Mashaba.
“We should have sealed the game in the last ten minutes because the Super Eagles were tired, but unfortunately for me, the only thing that worked for us was that our boys stuck to the play,” Mashaba began in a post match interview.
“We had our plans to always cover up each time the Eagles had a one on one chance because they will cause problems. I told my boys that the game against Nigeria won’t be a game of tactics but of strong and a high level of mental strength.”
Mashaba was also stunned to see the Super Eagles players lay on the ground each time they went in for a tackle.
“Funny, I saw Nigerians lying on the ground. It shocked me because everybody told me we stand no chance against the Eagles.I told them it was going to be basically a mental game. Lets get the ball away from our danger area and push them upwards.” he said.
“”Burying those chances in the second half would have secured the three points because the Nigerians could not run in the midfield.
“We can only hope we maintain this when we face Congo next month and get the three points and then we can cruise in to the AFCON proper.
The African champions must win at home and away in October against Sudan to stand a chance of defending their crown in Morocco next January.
South Africa are now second in the group with four points behind Congo who top with six points while Nigerian have one point from two games.