South Africa were expected to do well at the 2013 African cup of nations due to the home advantage, but they crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-final stage itself. The national team, though, was slightly unlucky due to the fact that they had to exit the tournament after their defeat in the quarter-finals against Mali on penalties.
After the exit, the manager Gordon Igesund said that he is extremely proud of his players and they have made an incredible amount of progress since the World Cup. Igesund has been the manager of the national team for the last seven months now.
He has now set his sights upon winning the 2015 African cup of nations. South Africa took the lead in the match against Mali through Rantie. However, Mali managed to equalise through a goal from Keita in the second half. It remained the way until the end of the match. Even into the extra time, there was no separating the two teams. When it came to the lottery of the penalties, three South African players missed the penalties, which ultimately resulted in the team going out of the competition. Igesund will now be focusing on preparing his players for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the month of March.
“We lost with pride, dignity and passion. We have proven that we can match anybody. It’s just a pity with penalties – it’s the luck of the draw. If I can say that maybe we have made huge strides, we got better and better as the tournament went on. We gave everything out there. We will pick ourselves up and come back stronger. An experience I will never forget. Tonight luck was on Mali’s side. They took their penalty kicks well,” said the South African manager after the defeat to Mali.