Igesund wary ahead of Morocco clash
25 January 2013
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has cautioned his players not to get too carried away with Wednesday's impressive victory over Angola in the side's second match of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations.
Addressing the media in Durban on Thursday, Igesund said: "We know what we need to do on Sunday. We can't continue living in the past. We must start celebrating once we qualify for the quarter-finals."
What Bafana needs to do is to at least draw with Morocco in their final group match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which would guarantee South Africa's progression to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
After Bafana's 2-0 win and a 1-1 draw between Cape Verde and Morocco, South Africa are top of the Group A standings with four points. Cape Verde and Morocco have two each, while Angola has one. In theory, all four teams are still in with a shout at moving on. South Africa, though, is the front-runner to reach the last eight.
The final group matches will be played at the same time, which will prevent teams trying to play for a specific result.
"We won our second game, but we really can't get carried away with that," Igesund said. "One win is not going to qualify us. We know what have to do next. We have a tough match against a strong Morocco side and we need to win that one."
Igesund made five changes to his starting line-up for the clash against Angola. It was a gamble, he admitted, but it worked out well in the end.
Asked if he will change the starting 11 again, he said: "I have to give it a lot of thought. I was very happy with the team that started and I was happy with the team that finished, but obviously there is big difference now that we need a point.
"But I am not the kind of coach that will go out there and play defensive football," he continued. "At the same time, I can't go out there and open up, leaving us vulnerable for Morocco to score. We can't take that risk because we can't afford that.
"We want to make sure we qualify, so I will apply my mind properly, but I won't ring a lot of changes," he assured.
On the injury front, Kagiso Dikgacoi and Lerato Chabangu, who were not considered for the match against Angola, are back at full training with the rest of their teammates after missing out on selection because of knee and groin injuries respectively.
Lehlohonolo Majoro, who netted South Africa's second goal in the win over Angola, is still nursing a deep cut to his calf, which he sustained right at the end of the game. He has since received stitches.
"I will get a report tonight or tomorrow about Kagisho Dikgacoi and Chabangu and I am hoping they are fit for Sunday," said Igesund, "not because I want them to play but because I want more options.
"As for Majoro, even if he is fit, I don't think I will take a risk on him. I won't gamble on him because if the stitches open up again, we will be back to square one.
"Also, I don't think it's fair for me to put any player in a position where I can do further damage to him, so I will get a full report from the team doctor to see how the stitches have progressed, or if it is far too early to use him. So for now, I don't think the three players will be available," he concluded.
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