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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Touches in the final third let Bafana Bafana down - Furman

5:40 PM GMT+4 25/06/2019
vory Coast Jean Michael Seri and South Africas defender, Thamsanqa Mkhize, June 2019
The midfielder has stated that the team has to improve in their second Group D match against Namibia, after losing to Ivory Coast on Monday

After their 1-0 defeat to Cote d’Ivoire  in the 2019 African Cup of Nations Group D encounter, Bafana Bafana  midfielder Dean Furman told the media that their strategy was to play with more freedom.

The SuperSport United midfielder put in a workmanlike performance, but he was left to lament Bafana's final touch in the opposite half as Jonathan Kodjia's solitary strike was enough to give Ivory Coast the three points.  

“The strategy was to be brave and play around the game, and we’ve got some very, very quick players and we know we were not going to necessarily match Ivory Coast physically,” Furman said to the media.

“But we also have our combination play, very quick play and that’s one of our strengths and our front three and four. That’s what we wanted, to get the ball to them as soon as possible,” he added.

“Get the ball quickly to them as soon as possible and let them play with freedom. Unfortunately our final third and little touches sometimes let us down,” Furman lamented.

With the Southern Africans having contained the West Africans in the opening half, they went off the boil in the second half. 

“Even if we found the ball, we didn’t threaten them enough and we got to improve on [that] and we’ve got to be a threat going forward. Because we are generally solid enough at the back and certainly we need to improve and bring more threat and potency into our attacks,” reacted Furman.

Meanwhile, with Namibia having lost their opening encounter against Morocco on Sunday, Bafana will have to bring their A-game to boost their knockout stage qualification hopes.

“Yeah, all we want to do is to progress, we want to get into the next round. Yeah, it’s disappointing to lose but there are two more games to play and definitely so many opportunities to progress into the knockout stages. So that’s what our focus is on now,” he concluded.