The South African national Under-23 soccer team are back in the country after their 2-0 international friendly against Iran in Tehran this week.
South Africa kept up their impressive goal-scoring and winning record as striker Bongani Ndulula from Bloemfontein Celtics, and midfielder Thulani Serero of Ajax Cape Town scored in the sxith and 37th minutes of the game respectively to give their country a good away win.
South Africa have won their last six matches and will be hoping to carry their good form into their upcoming fixtures and coach Shakes Mashaba says he is satisfied with the team’s perfamance so far.
ÔÇ£We had a good first half, were all over them and scored our first goal in the sixth minute and from there we took charge of the match. The boys played with a lot of purpose and according to instructions that we need to take the game to the opponent. We should have gone to the break having scored about five goals but luck was not on our side. But all in all it was a good exercise for the boys and I also appreciate the fact that their psychological abilities were really put to the test, long trips can really take a toll on players sometimes.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£We still need to play more games as we will be facing much tougher opponents in both the All Africa games and Olympic qualifiers and┬áwe do not have much time left. All in all I am happy with the overall progress of the team and we can only grow from strength to strength from hereÔÇØ said Mashaba.
The coach also admitted that the second half was much tougher than the first as the team played most of this half on the back foot, Mashaba also warned against complacency after a good record of six matches and six wins.
ÔÇ£Iran kicked off the second half and really took control of it but the resilience of the boys really came through and we held on to our two-goal lead and ultimately a two-nil win. What is very important is that we need not be swallowed by the moment, Iran was good but we are still going to face much greater tests in our quest to do well both upcoming tournaments,ÔÇØ added the coach.