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04 Jun 2012 12:12
Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane looks dejected during the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier match between South Africa and Ethiopia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium. (Gallo)
It is understood that the under-fire Bafana coach will hold an intense meeting with his Safa bosses in the next two days to map the way forward.
The result in Phokeng at the weekend produced an early setback for South Africa in their Group A 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Mosimane refused to buckle or fall on his own sword as public pressure mounted on him to resign over his team’s poor results.
“I don’t have to respond to what people say,” he said after the match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
“It’s not for me to say whether I must stay or go.
“Yes, the pressure is there ... there is always pressure.”
Bafana’s seventh winless game in succession heaped more misery on Mosimane, who desperately needed a win to stave off his detractors and give credence to his 2014 vision.
South Africa were outfoxed by the determined east Africans, who were 13 minutes away from a historic win.
Visitors in the leadSalahdin Said blasted the visitors into the lead after 29 minutes.
Katlego Mphela saved the woeful hosts’ blushes with a goal in the 77th minute as they earned a point in the fixture.
While his charges were woeful, Mosimane received consoling words from his Black Lions counterpart, Sewnet Woube.
“Bafana didn’t win here but it doesn’t mean they can’t qualify,” Woube said.
South Africa fashioned chances in the encounter and they should have walked over the Ethiopians.
“It’s not good, we can do better.
They were stubborn,” Mosimane said.
“I said it earlier in the week that Ethiopia can play and we must respect them.
“We were better in the second half after bringing on Oupa Manyisa and Teko Modise in midfield.
Failure to launch“We have the best players in South Africa on the park, they play well, but they don’t finish well.
“The usual story happened, because chances were created but we didn’t take them.
“The problem is from development.
Central African Republic beat Botswana 2-0 in another group tie to claim top spot in the opening round.
Bafana now have to beat Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday to keep up their challenge for the Brazil showpiece in two years’ time.
“It’s going to be tough but we’ll fight for the points,” Mosimane said.
“We need the three points against Botswana.
“There are still 15 points to be played for and there’s no formula [to qualifying].
Points in hand“It’s going to be about how many points we have in the end.
“Yes, I believe we can qualify because we have a good team – but we must win.”
The South Africa camp took Monday off, with Mosimane expected at Safa headquarters in Nasrec to conduct a training course.
Bafana will start preparations for the fixture against their Botswana neighbours on Tuesday.
They have an injury concern with left back Tsepo Masilela, who had a poor game as he took blame for the opening goal before he was replaced due to an injury midway through the first half.
They were expected to have forward Thulani Serero available after he was unavailable for personal reasons this past weekend.
“Tsepo will go for scans on his hamstring injury,” Mosimane said.
“But there is Punch [Masenamela] and [right back] Siboniso Gaxa, who can cover.
‘Mentally ready’“Thulani is coming back on Monday, but I don’t know whether he is mentally ready for the game.”
Mosimane said South Africans must accept reality and not look for quick-fix solutions to the national team.
“You see, in South Africa we don’t want to accept reality – things have not been going well for us since we won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations,” said Mosimane.
“But we are not changing the formula.
“We have a problem but you are going the same way – we must do things right in terms of our development programmes.”
South Africa is still reeling from Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as they host next year’s tournament.
“We don’t want to accept that the world is catching up with us,” Mosimane said.
“We don’t want to accept that we are not scoring goals, and don’t want to accept that our development is not good.”
Poor structuresMosimane subtly jabbed Safa for the poor structures in place while they were still seeking more satisfactory results from the team on the field.
Mosimane felt that until there were changes made to the development formulae, Bafana would continue on their downward spiral.
He made examples of how long it took Spain to dominate international soccer, and for Netherlands to be a reckoning force.
South Africa had been on a decline for over decade – and swift coaching changes at national level may not be the best solution.
“It took Spain 80 years to win the World Cup, but they had to change their programme,” he said.
“What do we have? We don’t change the formula yet we expect different results.” – Sapa
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