It must be a habit for Bafana to score three goals – Mkhalele
Bongokhuhle Hlongwane celebrates his goal with his Bafana teammates during their friendly against Uganda at Orlando Stadium on Thursday. Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
The five-goal thriller of Bafana Bafana’s victory over Uganda in an international friendly on Thursday underscored what is expected of the team under the new technical squad.
This assessment was made by assistant coach Helman Mkhalele, who was the backup coach in the teams’ 3-2 win at Orlando Stadium.
Since a 4-2 victory over São Tomé and Príncipe in a qualifier at Afcon last November, a ruthless Bafana has been a rare sight. The Seychelles’ 6-0 demolition in 2018 remains South Africa’s biggest victory.
Mkhalele, however, said scoring goals is something technical staff hope to make the norm in the future. “I believe in a team that can score more goals and defend well. The result [against Uganda] gives me the conviction that it is doable, ”the former Bafana midfielder told the media at the post-match conference.
“It must be a habit to score a minimum of three goals. In fact, I told the players before the game that they could score five goals. Yes, the games will not be easy. Right now we’re all happy, but I think it will serve as an inspiration for other players to seize the opportunities. “
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Bafana came back from a goal in the first half and survived a late scare from the Cranes to keep a relentless victory. It was the first game since Hugo Broos took over from Molefi Ntseki as the team’s head coach last month.
The Belgian missed the match as he returned home to receive his second Covid-19 vaccine, while first assistant coach Cedomir Janevski had to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus the day before the match.
Mkhalele made his debut with seven players, including two-goal hero Evidence Makgopa of Baroka FC.
Others were Makgopa’s club teammate Denwin Farmer, Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Rushine de Reuck and Sphelele Mkhulise, Ethan Brooks of TS Galaxy, Craig Martin of Cape Town City and Nkosinathi Sibisi of Golden Arrows.
It was rare for a Bafana trainer to release so many novices at once. Mkhalele cited this as one of the factors that contributed to the squad’s confusing start, which drew a lot of criticism from those watching the game on TV.
We will look at the combinations of building fluids, building from the back
The starting lineup had seven defensive players and barely froze until the replacement of Farmer and Sibisi paved the way for more offensive players.
“We really struggled in the central midfielder during the first half. This is where Uganda entered us so easily, while building from behind.
I attribute this to the inexperience of our boys, they were also nervous, ”admitted the coach who lifted the Afcon 1996 with Bafana.
“Also, we never had a game to build the combinations for our team. We had two practice sessions with around 11 players who had never played together. This has contributed to our not being able to manage the game effectively.
“In the future, we will be looking at creating fluid combinations, starting from the rear. We played too many side and back passes unnecessarily. So once the boys start to understand our philosophy, we are going to build a strong team that will be competitive not only in African football but in world football. “
Mkhalele said the focus during the camp was more on the mental aspect – to instill self-confidence and what it means to wear the Bafana jersey.