Suddenly all those harsh words about South Africa’s hapless loss to Nigeria in Cape Town last Sunday seem so hollow.
Having just seen Steven Keshi, Africa’s coach of the year, lead his Eagles to a scintillating CHAN quarter-final win in the same stadium, this appears to be the perfect time to say sorry to all in involved in Bafana Bafana’s unexpected exit.
As the SuperEagles came surging back from 3-0 down to rescue a tournament that looked doomed after the hosts’ departure, let me retract the following statements:
1 There is no evidence supporting my argument that Bloemfontein Celtic’s Thabo Nthethe was the only man in the back-four to feature throughout the tournament due to his “Face of Mr Price Sport” contract. Or that this was why he captained the side in Itumeleng Khune’s absence.
2 Any suggestion agent Mike Makaab, who represents both Igesund, Nthethe (and many other prominent Bafana stars), has ANY influence on the National Coach’s selections is utterly without foundation.
3 There is no cause to question Itumeleng Khune’s ankle injury, which kept him out of the Nigeria game but not Kaizer Chief’s top-of-the-table clash with Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday.
The truth is, having seen Nigeria’s epic comeback, few sides in the world could have withstood the onslaught of the African Nations Cup holders today. Let’s just accept South Africa can’t quite match the jolly green giants under Keshi.