Hlatshwayo: I won’t blame Cape Coast pitch for our defeat

Author: Peter Sarbah
Thulani Hlatshwayo
Thulani Hlatshwayo

Captain of Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Thulani Hlatshwayo, says he would not blame the poor nature of the Cape Coast Stadium for their defeat.

According to him, players are expected to player under any conditions and not to come up with excuses so he would refrain from blaming the pitch during their 0-2 defeat to the Black Stars in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier on Thursday.

"We can't have any excuse with the field because as players we have to play in each and every condition", he said during the post-match interview at Cape Coast on Thursday.

Instead, he would credit their opponent for their tactical discipline because they knew what Ghana was capable of doing even before the game and they devised strategies for them.

"Obviously we knew what Ghana was going to do so we prepared for whatever they were going to do to us. Everything that we planned and everything that we knew they were going to do, they did it" he noted.

The 29-year-old Bidvest Wits player said because their team started slowly it was difficult breaking through the iron-clad defense of the Black Stars yet they managed to match Ghana at every area of the game.

"We started slow as a team and we couldn’t penetrate like we normally do. But I feel like we managed to match them" he said.

He explained that when they returned from recess they were trying hard to equalise but they couldn’t until the second goal distabilised their plans and they had to rather play catch up with the Ghanaians.

"We kept positive as a team and during the second half we felt we could come back and equalise but the second goal really killed us and we started to chase the game", he admitted.

Despite the defeat he assured the South Africa fans that they would bounce back strongly in their game against Sudan on Sunday to ensure they qualify for the competition to be hosted by Cameroun in 2021.

"As a team we need to stay positive like we always do. We're still in camp, we're going to have our debrief and fix them. Our main focus is our game against Sudan in Sunday.

"We need to stay positive and make sure we get the result. As much as it’s still early stages, i think that’s when we need to be collecting points.

"Unfortunately we couldn’t get the points that we were looking for but as a team we need to stay focus and look forward to Sunday's game" the skipper said.