Igesund: 'No excuses'

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund could offer no excuses for Bafana's group stage elimination.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund could offer no excuses for Bafana's group stage elimination. Picture: EWN Sport

CAPE TOWN - Bafana coach Gordon Igesund believes the better team won after his side were knocked out of the 2014 Orange African Nations Championship tournament following a 3-1 defeat against Nigeria on Sunday.

Bafana went into the match at the Cape Town Stadium only needing a draw against the Super Eagles to progress to the quarterfinals, after a win and a draw in their first two group games against Mozambique and Mali, respectively.

Igesund made four changes to the starting line-up that drew with Mali, bringing in Moeneeb Josephs for the injured captain Itumeleng Khune, while Tebogo Langerman, Tefu Mashamaite and Sibusiso Vilakazi came on for Thato Mokeke, Buhle Mkhwanazi and Edward Manqele respectively.

The changes had little effect, with Nigeria easily brushing the hapless Bafana aside. Igesund said he was disappointed with the outcome but offered no excuses.

"I am very disappointed that we had to exit the tournament at this stage, but Nigeria deserved their victory. They were physically stronger, they were hard running and fully capitalised on our mistakes. There are no excuses. We lost to a better side. The players gave everything they had but Nigeria defended very well," said Igesund.

"Their first two goals should have been better dealt with by my players. We have to soldier on as we had picked the best available team for this tournament but luck was not on our side. The last 20 minutes we had them on the back foot but missed several chances that could have kept us in the match. At the end of the day we have to look at ourselves and admit we were just not good enough even though we gave it our best shot."

Bafana depart Cape Town on Monday afternoon to return to Johannesburg, with their tails firmly placed between their legs.