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Edward Motale: Bafana Bafana were either arrogant or complacent against Botswana

15:46 EAT 03/06/2019
Kamohelo Mahlatsi of South Africa challenged by Mothusi Johnson of Botswana
In an exclusive interview with Goal, the SA legend suggested that complacency crept into Bafana's performance as they lost to the Zebras on Sunday

Following defeat to Botswana in the Cosafa Cup on Sunday, former Bafana Bafana defender Edward Motale says too much complacency might have hurt the national side.

Bafana Bafana threw away a 2-goal lead to eventually lose 5-4 on penalties to the Zebras of Botswana on Sunday afternoon. 

“I think I enjoyed the game up until the guys conceded the goals. I cannot say it was a matter of lack of concentration or lapses, but it is arrogance or complacency,” Motale told Goal.

“They scored two beautiful goals and they thought the job was done. They started to relax, and that allowed Botswana to come back and probe for a win,” he said.

“When Botswana scored their first goal, their belief was restored that they could go all the way and steal a win out of the match. Scoring their first goal encouraged them to keep the pressure and push for a second goal and it worked for them,” he reacted.

Despite the loss, the former Orlando Pirates skipper insists the players took the regional tournament seriously as he believes that it provides the players with an opportunity to impress.

“I think they take the Cosafa Cup seriously, and you will remember they must. The competition is to impress coach Baxter to select them for Afcon,” continued the Bucs legend.

“I still believe and will be happy if he can select at least three players to go and learn at Afcon. Even if they just sit on the stands and continue to absorb the atmosphere, it will be okay with me,” he urged.

“They played well and I was impressed with their passing game, movement and they scored two good goals but they just lacked the killer punch to go for a third goal and kill the game. I am sure they have learned from that defeat,” said Motale.

“I think our failure is that we have to take these young boys to big tournaments and fail to gradually use them or introduce them, but we just decide to use them immediately,” he added.

“That brings pressure on them, and when they get criticism, their confidence is killed. My suggestion is to use them gradually and build them for the bigger stage,” he noted.

Coming to the Plate semi-final clash against Uganda on Tuesday afternoon, the former Caf Champions League winner is adamant that Bafana will bounce back against the Cranes.

“We have a chance to redeem ourselves in the next stage game. Our downfall is the structures. I think we need to set up our structures properly for these boys to develop,” responded the retired defender.

"We don't have faith in our 18-year-olds. We must start giving them a chance to play in these tournaments," he said.

“We have to go to the Afcon and make a mark. We must instill that in the players unlike what the coach said that we will go and there and just represent. For me, that is not powerful enough because it seems we will go and add numbers. Let’s just make it clear that we want to win the trophy and the boys will start believing,” noted Motale.

“I want to see the boys motivated and go all out for the kill because we are a big nation and we cannot just be happy about reaching these tournaments and not winning them,” he added.

“I’d like to see the energy from the technical team down to the players and that can work for us. I am also disturbed by the fact that some PSL teams say they will finish in the top eight – when do we start challenging for trophies from the club level to the national team?” he quizzed.

South Africa have been drawn into Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.