Bafana welcomed home despite early Afcon exit

Bafana were met with a group of cheering fans who congratulated them for their efforts.

FILE: Bafana Bafana’s clash with Senegal on 23 January 2015 in their second Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign. Picture: Twitter @BafanaBafana.

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana have finally arrived home from their unsuccessful Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Campaign.

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba was full of praise for his team despite their failure to progress to the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana were met with a group of cheering fans who congratulated them for their efforts in the competition.

Bafana were sent packing after they lost 2-1 to Ghana on Wednesday night in their final group game and before that, they drew 1-1 with Senegal and lost 3-1 to Africa's top ranked side Algeria.

The teams' performance at Afcon evidently disappointed the team as much as it did the nation, but Mashaba was adamant that important lessons were taken from the tournament and that the experience will bode well for the side going forward.

"Without a doubt, it hurts that the players who did the nation proud in the qualifiers were suddenly being questioned.

"If you still doubt the ability of our players, then there's something wrong.

"We have accepted that the late Senzo Meyiwa is no more. The three goalkeepers are now for the future.

"We wanted to play the three keepers in the different matches so that they can show what they are capable of doing.

"We want to have a group of players that if we call them at day or night, they will be there and perform well.

To the under 20 team he said, "Congratulations boys. You are giving us hope for the future."

Speaking to Eyewitness News , this fan says that despite the team failing to advance to the knockout stage, the nation is still behind them.

"What happened in Equatorial Guinea shows that Bafana were playing as a team, they wanted to win as a team. The unfortunate part is we didn't score goals."