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Africa Cup of Nations

Dumisa Ngobe: Bafana Bafana must not respect Morocco

9:43 AM GMT 29/06/2019
South Africa v Namibia June 2019 - Themba Zwane
The former midfielder says the changes made by coach Baxter made a massive difference against Namibia

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Dumisa Ngobe has congratulated the current generation for their win over Namibia and backed the side to beat Morocco in their final Group D match.

The legend spoke to Goal following Bafana’s 1-0 win over the Brave Warriors at the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, saying the win will go a long way in boosting the morale of the team.

“It’s a good win for the side because we needed a win form the beginning of the tournament. I think the morale will be lifted now and we hope to see continuity,”: Ngobe told Goal.

“We all know the Afcon tournament is not an easy stage to compete at and there were talks in the country that coach Baxter is not good enough and this and that. At least, those critics are silenced now and I want to see the fighting spirit in the next game.

“We need another win going forward but it will not be easy because we will play against a team that has six points already. I think they might need a point against us but for me, it was a good win for against Namibia,” he added.

With the English coach having had to make changes in his starting eleven where midfielders Hlompho Kekana, Bongani Zungu, and goalkeeper Darren Keet started on Friday, the former Orlando Pirates star said he was pleased with the changes.

The trio replaced the injured Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, as well as Ronwen Williams and the Witbank-based legend said the changes brought a massive difference in how the team played.

“You know Furman is there to destroy, he is not much of a creative player when it comes to assisting to get goals and going forward,” Ngobe said.

“I think with two destroyers we will end up killing the creativity and effectiveness of our strikers just like we saw against Cote d’Ivoire. When you have creative midfielders you end up having goals and the strikers can also play because they get the supply and that brings their confidence.

“Coming to the goalkeeping department, competition is good because we lost the first game and the coach decided to change because he wanted a win. I think Keet did well because he came back with a clean sheet that will boost the defence and him going forward.

“Williams is not a bad keeper but we just needed to get a result against Namibia. It was very crucial to have an experienced keeper and we needed to get a win, I hope to see an improved display on Monday and continuity as far as t the starting line-up is concerned,” he concluded.

Speaking about the upcoming clash against the Atlas Lions on Monday, ‘Isiphithiphithi’ expects a thrilling encounter, but has advised Bafana to focus on their game plan just like they did back in 1998 when they defeated Morocco 2-1.

“I’ll be honest with you, they have to forget to on how Morocco plays or whether they play against a team that has six points. The mission is to get a win and fight for each other," Ngobe said.

“I can tell you back in 1998, we never looked at their squad because they had stars such as Mustapha Hadji and others, but we never underestimated our quality,” he advised.

“We didn’t worry about their quality, but we focused on our game and ensure we minimised mistakes, I think if they look at the two games they have played and take the positives they can match Morocco,” reflected the retired midfielder.

“I have confidence in the team and I hope the win against Namibia will definitely restore their confidence,” he concluded.