Bafana vs Kenya: Igesund eyes Afcon
16 October 2012
Bafana Bafana face Kenya in an international friendly at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday evening, and coach Gordon Igesund believes his team's recent 1-0 loss to Poland will spur them on to better things against the Harambee Stars.
The two nations last met in February 2011 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng near Rustenburg. Goals from Davide Somma and former captain Steven Pienaar saw South Africa score a 2-0 victory.
This time, both sides have new coaches, with the much-travelled Henri Michel, formerly with Mamelodi Sundowns, now in charge of 128th ranked Kenya, while Igesund has taken over from Pitso Mosimane for Bafana.
The match will be Michel's first in charge of Kenya, while Igesund is in his fourth match with the South African national team.
Looking ahead to the clash, Igesund said: "We are trying a number of combinations in preparations for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. We have 26 players in camp and some didn't play against Poland, so this will be their chance to also get a run.
"We have to juggle the squad around so that we have a clear picture when we name the final squad for the tournament," he explained.
"We haven't started tactical work yet because the current idea is to watch as many players as possible. In the next three weeks or so I will be 70 percent certain of my final squad, but for now it is still work in progress."
Igesund said last Friday's loss to Poland has not put his team under any pressure because they were more concerned with the bigger picture.
"There is no pressure at all because we are in the preparatory phase. I would rather lose to Poland and Kenya but do well in the Afcon," he said.
'We should have done better'
Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi said: "Obviously we were very disappointed to lose to Poland. We did well in the first half, but we became eager to win in the second half and lost shape. We all know we should have done better.
"We learnt a lot as a team from that clash, but it is now behind us and we have a match against Kenya to take care of," he continued.
"We are looking forward to that encounter and we are hopeful we will rectify the Poland mistakes and come up with a good win."
Beginning to gel
Captain Bongani Khumalo said the team is beginning to gel, but added that it will need some time to become a well-oiled machine.
"The coach has spoken about trying different players and combinations, and we all know that the chemistry of success doesn't come overnight," he explained. "I believe we have good players with a strong mentality, and we are doing our best to get to know each others' style of play and have an understanding.
"Against Kenya, we will have to go out and do the best and I believe we should come out with a positive result," he concluded.
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