Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman has commented on their African Cup of Nations 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Super Eagles progressed into the semi-finals through Samuel Chukwueze and William Troost-Ekong’s goals, and Furman gave his thoughts on the heartbreaking events.
“They kind of sat off us in the first half and we didn’t move the ball quick enough to hurt them. Then they get their goal, and again they sat off and waited for us to make mistakes,” Furman said in post-match comments, as per SuperSportTV.
“In the second half, we decided to play higher up the pitch, we pressed them higher like we did the other night against Egypt and it worked for us, we came alive, got the goal and it seemed like there was only going to be one winner.”
Bafana came into the second half with a bit of a game change which saw them equalize. Ekong did however restore Nigeria’s lead late in the match to secure the victory.
Furman admitted to being disappointed, however asserted that Bafana should be proud of their accomplishment of eliminating the mighty Egyptians and getting this far.
“It looked like they (Nigeria) were tired and to get that goal at the end, that one is going to hurt for a while, but we can hold our heads up, we fought out there, we fought for every ball, it could have very easily gone our way,” he added.
“I think everyone in this team can be proud of themselves, the way they acquitted themselves, the way they came out here. We showed flashes of brilliance, especially in the last game. At times tonight, some of our attacking play was great again, maybe not to the level of the Egypt game.
“We caused them problems without really having that final ball, but the boys can go away with their head held high. Hopefully, from this experience, Bafana Bafana is ready to mix it with the big teams on this continent,” concluded Furman
Following Bafana’s AFCON journey coming to an end, they are expected back in the country on Saturday, July 13, while the Super Eagles wait on the winner between the Ivory Coast and Algeria clash to vie it out for a berth in the final.