Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund believes that his charges lost to a more superior side after the home side was defeated 5-0 by a rampant Brazil in an international friendly match played on Wednesday, 5 March at the FNB Stadium.
The clash was Brazil’s final leg of their world tour as they prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup touranment which they are hosting in June. It was also to pass on the baton of the world soccer showpiece from the previous hosts South Africa.
A hat-trick from Barcelona superstar Neymar (41st, 46th, 90th) and goals from Oscar and Fernadinho in the 10th and 79th minutes were enough to give the five-time world champions a convincing victory over the home side.
“We have to admit that we lost to a very good side, they were absolutely outstanding. They were difficult to mark especially in the last third. The first half was a decent start for us but we conceded soft goals and that had us in the backfoot, almost killing us. They were far better than us and we were outclassed in every department. They had good movements off the ball and were very organised. Neymar proved too hard to handle,” said Igesund.
“It was a completely different match from the one against Spain, the difference being that Spain was a lot more predictable in that they passed the ball around while Brazil have players who could eliminated the opposition by running with the ball with pace and precesion. Brazil tonight wanted to show the world that they want to win the World Cup. I am not too shattered by the scoreline because I believe we played well in patches.”
Igesund handed a first cap to young goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and said afterwards the he was impressed with his overall performance.
“He had to be given a chance as he has been doing very well for his club, he needed this opportunity. I am not blaming him for the goals but it was a tough task he faced but he will learn from this. I am glad he gave it his all unfortunately it was not a good night for all of us. We tried to compete but we couldn’t. We had our moments but were not too worrisome to Brazil,” said Igesund.
Thabo Nthete captained Bafana Bafana in the absence of the injured Itumeleng Khune. Nthete became the fifth captain to lead South Africa against Brazil – Neil Tovey (1996); Lucas Radebe (1997); Aaron Mokoena (2009); Bongani Khumalo (2012) and Nthete (2014).