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Zwane Revels Over AFCON Exploits

Bafana Bafana playmaker Themba Zwane was left pleased with their last-16 qualification in the Africa Cup of Nations as he shed light on the size of the task in Ivory Coast.

Zwane pulled out consecutive Man of the Match displays in the 4-0 win over Namibia and the 0-0 draw with Tunisia which secured second place in Group E.

However, it was straightforward in a physically draining fixture against the North Africans – who had an extra day of rest and were desperate for a win to remain in the competition

“Obviously this feels great, I’m happy we qualified, and I’m happy for the team, we did well as a team,” Zwane said after winning the Man of the Match award.

“We knew it was going to be difficult and physical because we watched their games, they use their physique [to their advantage] so we had to fight as a team to stand up for ourselves and try to fight – which is what we did.

“We also tried to avoid unnecessary yellow cards and tried to be calm but give the fight.”

‘Mshshi’ stated the Carthage Eagles put them under severe pressure but was pleased they managed to compose themselves in the second half to control the spaces away from the danger zones around their box, and forcing them wide on most occasions.

“This one was difficult because their press was coordinated very well and yeah they shift [positions] very well, they closed the spaces for us in the first half,” Zwane said.

“But second half we tried to be calm, play passes in between to penetrate them and we created a few chances [which was good].

“It was very difficult, but we tried to push one another and at the same time we also saw they were tired, so that’s why we tried to keep the ball more [in the second half] tried to rest on the ball,” he said.

“But at the same time we wanted to press them because we know on the side they good with crosses, so we tried to prevent that, avoid that but as I said we did well as a team.”

Zwane will be aiming to lead South Africa to the quarter-finals as they face Morocco in the last-16 on Tuesday in San Pedro.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.