Post Mortem of Today’s Game.


Goalkeeping.

There was not much for Itumeleng Khune to do, except for a few telling saves. The communication with his defence was probably the cause of the Mexican goal. Being in there, he gets all the vuvuzela noise between him and his defence. Otherwise a good performance. The Mexican goalie was instrumental in playing outside his box, pushing and squeezing the game. He came off his line on several occassions in timely and decisive moments.

Defending.

The defence was generally solid with very few but worrying cracks. The biggest problem was too much too fast a retreat into the defending 3rd. The retreat created a gap between the defence and the midfield which did not quickly early enough.The Mexican defence in comparison, had half their game in the middle 3rd, the goalkeeper playing sweeper. The communication was also a course for concern. Mexico pushed forward to help congest the midfield that became unplayable.

Middlefield.

This section of the game was too cautious to begin with. The Mexicans knew South Africa needed space to play the game. They then eliminated the spaces by pushing their defence to the middle zone of the pitch. This strangled Steven Pienaar, Lstsholongane, Tshabalala. Kagiso Dikgacoi had to contend with mounting pressure coming from the advancing middlefield and he committed a lot of fouls. The Bafana Bafana midfield thus completely retreated putting excessive pressure on the defence. This was very evident later in the second half leading to the goal. Worse of all, when the defence was not retreating further, instead of being compact in the front of Mokoena and Bongani Khumalo, they spread wide to the sides, inviting Mexico to penetrate through cetntre.

Attack.

Similar story basically, except maybe to say that the single man upfront could not get enough support from the withdrawing team. Katlego roamed the pitch searching for the ball that wasn’t forthcoming, that not being his duty. The Mexican defence really had no business baby sitting an adult when the 2010 World Cup had just started. So they flooded forward, bolstering their attack by the domino effect. As they surged forward, they managed to have so many people in good attacking positions that they spread wide, creating opportunities that led to the goal.  

Substituions.

I think a very telling comprehension of the game by the Coach must be noted. I had not seen that one coming and it paid dividents. Thwala lacks patience and while Masilela also tackles carelessly sometimes, the Coach thought of his experience overseas, having played UEFA Champions’ League football. Steve Pienaar was tired to complete that game, contributing more to Mexico’s project. The Mexican coach is suspicious when it comes to his reading of the game. Carlos Vela was a thorn in Bafana defance. Blanco is an old toothless dog, frankly. He has seen better days and has lost pace.

Games Ahead.

The unfortunate thing about this group is that they have a similar taste of things. They will surely play entertaining football but hard to predict. I will not give Mexico much chance, despite a good perforance against Bafana Bafana. I still await the France vs Paraguay to see.

For now, keep checking if Australia are on standby to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Please feel free to give me your thoughts and comments below.

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By Tse Posted in Uncategorized

6 comments on “Post Mortem of Today’s Game.

  1. A good show by Bafana Bafana despite a nervy start obviously due to high expectations but when they finally settled down they managed to knock the ball around confidently and could have easily come out victorious.Unfortunately the defence went to sleep to let in the Mexican equaliser.I must say I had not watched Bafana Bafana in years but was impressed with what I saw!!

  2. As a novice that I am I would have loved to see more goals. Help me and other newbies get schooled. What would be Bafana’s best position in regard to the next game? Am trying to weigh the chances of seeing my brothers play in the next round. Am sure you’d be helping a lot more in my position. “Phillip, he is here”. Thus I need to educate myself.

    • I will first apologise for too technical a language sometimes. You are free to ask further details because i get carried away too easily when I am in this spirit. I just finished watching France and Uruguay. Both these teams are very much beatable. France are intimidating due to their spent horses like Thiery Henry and Nicholas Anelka. Most of Bafana players have posters of these guys in their bedrooms.

      I wished to have seen more goals too, but they were always going to be hard to get. Bafana Bafana had worries not to disappoint an expecting nation and Africa. That is very difficult to deal with. They didn’t have a lot of trust of the neutrals and media. They feared to prove the prophets of doom right.

      To answer your question, Bafana should approach their next game with more self believe and contentment. Their game will be more fluid. They know we trust them now . The coach is likely to have a more solid ball winner like MacBeth Sibaya because Kagiso has a yellow card. It will not be surprising to see Surprise Moriri coming in as well. Bafana Bafana will throw caution to the wind and play more strikers to get the goals we all want to see.

      Going by today’s performance, and that of France and Uruguay, we’ll be in the next round for sure.

  3. Very well put kaGama. I was particulary impressed by Teko Modise who was creeping back to his old devastating self. To me he was The Man of the Match. All of the boys by their own standards, were capable of doing more. This game will give them the confidence now that they see they can play. Like most of us, there still pinching themselves about being in the first ever FIFA World Cup on African soil during the first half. Siyabonga Bafana.

  4. IM STILL NOT CONVISED BY THIS MODISE GUY.HE LOOKS LOST BUT HE HAS SOMETHING IN HIM.TSHABALALA HAS A GUD LEFT FOOT.URUGUAY NEXT .WELL A WIN WILL IS A MUST IN THIS GAME.NOT BAD FOR FIRST GAME.

    • The current Teko is well under par. It was looking like he’s spent. I became a big critic of him myself.
      Modise won Parreiera’s games single handedly during the Brazilian’s first stinct. He faded badly under Joel Santana. He was becoming invisible even for Orlando Pirates. Those who know him well, you under-estimate him at your own risk.
      Yes, by comparison, Simphiwe Tshabalala has been evergreen. The lefty packs a lovely shot on the run. On a good day, nobody will want ot play against the pair.
      Between the two, on that good day, Modise tops.

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