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‘Bafana must be applauded’

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has praised the team’s spirit and commitment.

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. Picture: Alicia Pillay/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said his players should be applauded for the dedication they showed in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Bafana were eliminated after losing 3-1 to Mali on penalties in the quarterfinals at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.

It was South Africa's first Afcon quarterfinal since 2002 and Igesund said his team showed commitment.

“I think they’ve come a long long way, in a lot of aspects. Not only on the playing field but they way they conduct themselves.”

Gordon also spoke highly about Bafana’s sportsmanship and the pride that the team had when they put on their jerseys.

Meanwhile the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) CEO Tubby Reddy agreed with him.

“Hard luck to Bafana Bafana, hopefully we can grow [from this]”

Reddy also said the general response from the public was a very positive one and that the coach’s main focus going forward should be qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

WORLD CUP RECORD

Bafana have never won the FIFA World Cup and last time they participated in the tournament was in 2010, when South Africa hosted it.

They did not make it past the group stages in that tournament and did not qualify for the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany either.

The Bafana team managed to score six goals in the 2013 Afcon tournament and drew twice, winning once and were beaten once.

(Edited by Katleho Mogase)

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