Bafana Bafana under pressure to deliver after series of defeats
National cricket, football and rugby teams have all failed to perform in the past week
All eyes will be on Bafana Bafana later in June, and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo admitted they will be under pressure to deliver at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt after SA’s teams have come under the cosh.
Coach Stuart Baxter’s charges face Ivory Coast in their first match in Cairo on June 24, and Hlatshwayo said the poor performances of the other national teams have put the spotlight on the senior team.
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‘‘The first camp started well and we have seen all the results and even those of the Cosafa Cup team‚ having been knocked out of the Cosafa,” he said. “And the Blitzboks‚ the cricket team and Banyana Banyana. So we are sure that we will be prepared for later this month.”
The Bafana captain admitted the stakes are high and they will have to perform after a run of disappointing results.
It does raise the stakes for the senior national team‚ he said. ‘‘There is always pressure and we find ourselves where we are. We have put ourselves here and we have to make sure that we take ourselves out.”
The Proteas were first to disappoint when they lost by 104 runs to England in their opening match of the Cricket World Cup on Thursday.
And not to be outdone‚ coach Thabo Senong’s charges crashed out of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup a day later without winning a match in the tournament after a 1-1 draw with Portugal on Friday night.
Things continued to go downhill when a largely Under-23 SA side coached by David Notoane crashed out of the Cosafa Cup after a 5-4 defeat on penalties to Botswana in Durban on Sunday.
The Blitzboks’ season ended with a bronze medal at the Paris leg of the 2018/2019 World Sevens as Fiji claimed the title. The South Africans were humbled 33-7 by New Zealand in the semifinals before bouncing back to beat the US 24-7 in the bronze medal match.
The Proteas continued where they left off on Thursday with a 21-run loss to Bangladesh in the World Cup on Sunday.
Banyana Banyana rounded off the dismal weekend when they were handed a 2-7 thumping by Norway in a friendly at Stade Moulonguet in Amiens‚ France on Sunday.
Asked how difficult it is to bounce back from a defeat‚ Hlatshwayo said: ‘‘You have to. It’s not how hard you fall‚ it’s how you get back up again. They say you are as good as your last game‚ so you just go back and fix the mistakes and make sure you do the right things.”