Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brazil 1 – 0 South Africa: Brave Bafana defeated by Samba Kings

South Africa came within two minutes of taking South American powerhouse Brazil to extra time in the second semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. It wasn’t to be though for Joel Santana’s men as Barcelona’s rampaging right-back Dani Alves scored the winning goal in the 88th minute from a free-kick on the edge of the box.
For the first time in this tournament Brazil were given a hard time as Bafana pressed and hurried them for the entire 90 minutes in what will be a confidence booster for the team ahead of Sunday’s 3rd/4th placed play-off’s.

Bafana dominated the first half but were made to rue the lack of a cutting edge up front as they failed to convert possession into clear cut chances, Aaron Mokoena having the best chance of the game with a header from Modise’s free-kick. The game was heading to extra-time until we gave away a needless free-kick in the 87th minute and the substitute Alves blasted the ball past a hapless Khune in goal, a disappointing finish to spirited performance from Bafana.

Personally I think we’ve made a lot of progress during this tournament, a year ago I would never have bet on Bafana giving football’s super powers Brazil and Spain a run for their money. There are plenty of positives to take out of this Tournament but there’s also a lot to work on during the next 11 months as we prepare for the biggest tournament of them all, the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

I expect there will be calls for Santana and Mokoena’s head to roll from some fans, but I can honestly say that I haven’t seen Bafana playing this well in ages. Bafana will now face Spain in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Sunday before the USA takes on Brazil in the final.

Well done to the Brazilians, tough luck Bafana. You’ve made us proud!

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