Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, has apologised to the South African public following the national team's humiliating exit from the Chan 2014 tournament.
Bafana lost 3-1 to their somewhat hoodoo team, Nigeria, in their final Group A match played in front of a packed to capacity Cape Town Stadium. South Africa only needed a draw to advance to the quarterfinal stages, but Stephen Keshi's young Eagles had too much to show for Gordon Igesund's side.
Affectionately known as 'Shabba' in football cicrles, the verstaile player reflected on the match and apologised to the nation for the team's early exit.
“It is very disappointing that we are out of the tournament being the hosts. We were hoping to advance to the quarterfinals and go all the way to the finals. So we are very disappointed that we lost to Nigeria. They had their chances and took them, we did our best in terms of creating scoring chances but their goalkeeper was one of the best players on the park and denied us numerous times. We are not happy that we conceded three goals,” said Tshabalala.
In a statement of safa.net, Bafana's most capped player in the Chan squad who boasts an amazing 86 caps for the national team went on to say...
“Personally I would like to apologise to the nation on behalf of the team for not going through. We did everything we could but it was not good enough on the day. We took the game to them, attacked them very well but they were solid. They got one move and they punished us, and then the penalty that killed us.”
Tshabalala said that everyone including his fellow players were hurting as much as the nation.
“It is very sad that we find ourselves here, but we have to move on and be strong mentally. It is always disappointing when we don’t deliver especially with the nation rallying behind us. We cannot point fingers at anybody but we need to forge ahead, hopefully we will be a better team going forward,” added the midfielder.
“It is honestly hurting – we are hurting and we know the nation is also hurting, and we are not proud of not doing well but we just have to apply ourselves better in future.”
The defeat means that Bafana Bafana players will now return to their respective clubs to commence with their Absa Premiership campaigns for 2014. Shabba with his Chiefs teammates in Bernard Parker, Itumeleng Khune and Tefu Mashamaite will be in action against Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday, January 23.