Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Ghana's second goal killed Bafana Bafana - Hlatshwayo

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Thulani Hlatshwayo, South Africa, July 2019
Molefi Ntseki's charges suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Black Stars in their opening match of the Afcon 2021 qualifiers away from home

Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo says Bafana Bafana knew what to expect from the Black Stars of Ghana and the threat they pose even before the game on Thursday night. 

According to the South African skipper, the team was well prepared to deal with anything Ghana were going to throw at them even after they went 1-0 down in the first half. 

However, Hlatshwayo conceded that the second goal, scored by Mohammed Kudus late in the second half, came as a massive blow to their chances of launching a possible comeback. 

While the pitch at Cape Coast Sports Stadium appeared to be smaller than the venues Bafana Bafana are used to, the Soweto-born defender said that shouldn't be an excuse for their defeat to the Black Stars.  

"Obviously, we knew what Ghana were going to do to us and we were prepared for whatever they were going to do to us," Hlatshwayo told reporters. 

"Everything we planned and everything that we knew they were going to do, they did it and just as the coach says, we started slowly as a team and we couldn't penetrate like we normally do. 

"We can't make excuses about the field because as players we should be able to play in each and every condition but I feel like we managed to match them.

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"It's just that they scored the first goal and kept the positivity as a team and we thought we could come back and equalise in the second half but the second goal really killed us.  

"We then started to chase the game and it [the game] was open."

Bafana Bafana will need to bounce back against Sudan on Sunday afternoon and get their Afcon 2021 qualifying campaign back on track.