South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma may have lifted the World Cup trophy with Spanish skipper Iker Casillas at half-time, but he was singing the praises of his own Bafana Bafana side after he watched them beat world and European champions Spain on Tuesday night.
The encounter between Spain and South Africa had been dubbed 'The Champions are Coming' and was meant for Spain to relive their first ever triumph in the World Cup on the very ground where they lifted the trophy.
However it was the African side that had more reason to celebrate on the night as they managed to overcome their much fancied opposition for the first time in four attempts with a narrow 1-0 win.
Bernard Parker’s strike in the 56th minute was enough to sink condemn Spain to defeat on a ground that had brought them such joy with the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, and South Africa’s president was on hand to congratulate his team for doing the nation proud and earning what he termed as: “a deserved victory.”
Speaking to the team at full-time, he said: “Thank you very much for a fine win, you have made us proud as a nation. In my view you had more shots on goal and you could have scored more goals. You really deserved this victory… It was absolutely wonderful watching you, the country is very happy. We are all proud of you.”
Mr. Zuma may have been wrong on his statistics-Spain racked up 14 attempts on goal against South Africa’s nine, but that's not to take away the victory from a side that was 60 places below Spain in the FIFA world rankings.
Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana manager Gordon Igesund was quick to make sure that his players don’t get carried away by their win, instead insisting that: “There is still a lot of work to be done.
“We have been on track for a while, and I think tonight’s performance was a culmination of the hard work we have put into our efforts.
"The players did well and stuck to the game plan. But we should not get carried away and keep our feet on the ground because there is still a lot of work to be done, and we should continue working as hard as we have been doing."
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