South Africa midfielder Bernard Parker says the 2-1 victory against Kenya’s Harambee Stars in Tuesday night’s friendly has boosted Bafana Bafana’s confidence ahead of the 2013 Nations Cup finals.
“We haven’t won away from home more so on African soil for a very long time. This is a good win that keeps us focused and in the mood for the 2013 Nations Cup finals," Parker told Goal.com.
Parker added, “We knew Kenya will play a very physical game and that is how they played. We kept going and managed to contain their style of play despite the playing surface also not being friendly.”
Parker set up South Africa’s winner after his cross from the left wing was diverted into the goal by Kenya defender Chris Wekesa. Tokelo Rantie had put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute.
It was the second win for new South Africa coach Gordon Igesund, something that impressed Parker. “We are gelling well with our new coach. The team is now slowly building with confidence and that should be important as we approach the Nations Cup finals.”
The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder also hailed the impact of French coach Henri Michel in Harambee Stars.
“We know Michel very well. He handled Mamelodi Sundowns (South African PSL league side) back home and we know he can shape up Kenyan football. Since he (Michel) took over there is a change in Harambee Stars. I have confidence the Kenya team will be a force to reckon with in a few months time.’’