Shakes Mashaba has revealed that the injury to Rivaldo Coetzee, during the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, disrupted the Bafana Bafana technical team in their planning for the tournament.
The young Ajax Cape Town defender picked up an injury in Bafana’s first game of the AFCON against Algeria.
He was replaced by Siyabonga Nhlapo, which led to Bafana playing with three right backs in that game, as Thulani Hlatshwayo and Anele Ngcongca were also on the same field.
Orlando Pirates left back, Thabo Matlaba, was the only other defender in that game as Bafana lost 3-1 to Algeria.
“Dave, the injury of Rivaldo... it disorganised our whole plan. It came early in the game and was one we didn’t expect. We had to resort to changes we had never anticipated. Yes, we had anticipated someone might get injured, but not in defence. That is where we had problems.
"Going into the middle of the park, Andile Jali and Dean Furman did a stunning job! But there are still a couple of things we need them to do as our midfielders. I believe, and I know, people talk about holding and attacking midfielders. To me I don’t know what that says. You play as a team.
"Football is about two things – defending and attacking. Then the next questions come... how, when and why? Make no mistake, Dean did a magnificent job by standing in the middle as the destroyer. He also had three brilliant shots, one which should have gone into the back of the net,” said Mashaba.