–Says he was happy Eagles did not beat his team
Coach of Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Shakes Mashaba has commended his team for putting up a great display against Nigeria in the last AFCON 2015 qualifying game which ended 2-2 at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium on Wednesday.
The result saw Nigeria, the home team and the defending champions losing out in the race to qualify for next year’s tournament slated for Equatorial Guinea. And any hope of the Super Eagles benefiting from the other group game played simultaneously evaporated as Congo secured a 1-0 away win against Sudan which condemned Nigeria to finishing third in the group.
Speaking after the game, Mashaba said though he was happy that South Africa did not lose to Nigeria in over two legs, but would have been happier had his team won against the Super Eagles.
“We knew Nigeria are a very strong side but we played a good game and we were able to stick to our game plan.
“The boys worked very hard and we only lost shape when we were a man down and I think that accounted for Nigeria rallying to get a draw. I would of course have been happier if we had won out rightly.
“Nevertheless, I am very proud of my team because we didn’t lose against Nigeria over two legs of matches during the qualifiers.
“Now we can look forward to going to Equatorial Guinea to do well at the African Cup of Nations next year,” Mashaba concludes.
South Africa ended Group A as the winners, amassing 12 points over six matches while Congo came second with 10 points. Nigeria however came third with 8 points while Sudan brought up the rear with three points.