18 November 2013
South Africa will take the game to World Cup holders Spain when the teams meet at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening, says Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.
Speaking at the end of the South African team’s two-hour training session in sweltering heat at the FNB Stadium on Sunday, Igesund said: “It is important for players to play such matches, and one thing I can tell you is that we are going to be competitive on the night. There is no bigger test than Spain to gauge ourselves how far we have come.
“We should not underestimate ourselves because we can keep the ball. We can also knock it around and defend too. That is why I think it is going to be a nice game because both teams play good football.
“We are going to be prepared and I want to believe both teams will put up a good showing.”
En route to South Africa, Spain beat a very physical Equatorial Guinea 2-1. “You can’t read too much into these results because the teams are trying out players. Many thought we would go out there and beat Swaziland seven or 9-0 [on Friday evening], but the gap between the so-called big guns and so-called minnows is closing rapidly and there are no more easy games,” Igesund reckoned.
“We will try to entertain, but the main objective is to win, and I believe they are also coming here to enjoy themselves and also try to win the game.”
Not a foregone conclusion
Bafana Bafana’s players are also confident ahead of the big match and said result is not a foregone conclusion.
“It is a big test for us. We want to see how far we have come as a team and we want to keep progressing, and there is not better way to do that than to play against world champions,” said midfielder Dean Furman.
“We don’t want to sit back the whole match, but we will take the game to them and show what we also have because we have exciting attacking players and we want them to express themselves on the night.”
Furman said Bafana Bafana’s players are in a good space ahead of the clash. “We don’t want to see it as daunting, but we are confident in the camp because we come from a good win against Swaziland and a tough draw against Morocco last month, so we are really looking forward to the game. We are not afraid of anyone.
‘A team they can be proud of’
“We know they are the world champions and have some of the best players in the world and we will give them the respect they are due, but we are playing at home in front of our fans and we want those fans to see a team they can be proud of,” Furman added.
“As a player this is the kind of match you want to play, where you meet the best in the business, and I am confident on the night we will deliver.”