Don’t panic, coach tells nation

Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira urged the nation not to panic after an embarrassing 1-1 draw against lowly Namibia on Wednesday, but when is the time?

The 81st-ranked Bafana were expected to brush aside the Namibians, ranked 30 places below South Africa in the world at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in the same manner, if not better, then they did Zimbabwe in their previous match in January.

However, they battled against their neighbours, who in fact took the lead just before the break.

With three months left before 31 other nations join Bafana for the World Cup, expectations associated with being the host country for a tournament of this magnitude is very high.

The success of this World Cup depends highly on how the team will perform in June. On Wednesday South Africa’s World Cup Group A opponents Uruguay defeated Switzerland, France lost to European champions, Spain, and Mexico beat New Zealand – ranked just one place higher than Bafana.

Namibia are not quite in the same league as the rest as the World Cup looms. “Everything is part of a process,” Parreira said. “I was satisfied with our first half performance. “We created chances but it was our last pass, penetration and shooting that was not correct,” he said.

To be fair to the Brazilian coach, the team out on display was not entirely his preferred starting XI, and he had used the fixture to try out veteran defender Bradley Carnell, Bevan Fransman and wingback Bryce Moon in the side, with mixed results in the end.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to look at some other players again who have not been with the team for some time,” Parreira said. “It was good to see them again, and helps our decision-making for the World Cup.” Bafana Bafana coach Parreira named his squad of 29 players for the trip that culminates with an international friendly against Paraguay on March 31.

Source: citizen online, 20100305

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