The AFCON has come and gone. The trophy came and stayed in Hillbrow. And now all that’s left is to reflect on the tournament and the performance of the various teams. In our first of two reviews of the AFCON I look specifically at Bafana and their performance at this years continental showpiece and give each player that walked on the field for the Boys a rating out of ten.
Khune – 9
Itu was brilliant, but for me he loses 0.5 for the play acting against Morocco and 0.5 for that horrendous first goal. He was outstanding other than that for Bafana and his distribution is exceptional, if not one of the best in World football. Possibly makes him our player of the tournament
Gaxa – 5
Not our first choice so he only played in the Quarter final against Mali. I felt he had a decent game and it shows the depth we currently have in the right back position.
Khumalo – 5
I am not one of the South Africans that thought he was immense. In fact I felt at times that his leadership on the field was lacking and that he never really struck up a partnership with Sangweni. He seems to have slowed down since his days of playing for Supersport and the year of bench time at Spurs did not do him benefit.
Sangweni – 7
Sangweni is a champ. But he is also a defender and that is an area of the game where I felt Bafana were let down at the AFCON. I give him the extra point for his two outstanding goals at the championship, but his defending particularly for the 2nd Morocco goal was nothing short of comical. I will say this though, a partnership with him and Morgan Gould is something that excites me.
Masilela – 6
If you think about the AFCON and specifically Bafana’s participation, it is hard to think of anything outstanding that he did but at the same time its also hard to think of anything he did terribly bad. Will not really have enhanced is reputation, but would also not have hurt it.
Furman – 9.5
Mlungu as the Oldham Athletic midfielder is now known, took the AFCON by storm and in so doing stormed into the hearts of the South African public. The loss of Pienaar was one that was barely felt as Furman took to International football like he was born for it. His commanding tackles and his simple but effective approach were brilliant to watch. This weekend will see Furman vs. Pienaar in what is arguably the most exciting FA Cup tie for South Africans.
Mahlangu – 8
May Mahlangu has not really lived up to the expectations that have been placed on him, but at this AFCON he finally started to show the country glimpses of what made him Swedish player of the Year a few years back. His goal against Morocco was the goal of the tournament for me and his partnership with Furman is truly encouraging for the future of South African football.
Phala – 6
I had initially not selected Phala in my Bafana squad, however his performances were competent throughout the tournament in keeping Tshabalala on the bench. His fall in the Morocco box deserved a card and his dead ball delivery is more Andre Santos than David Beckham, but his work-rate was tireless and he will only go from strength to strength.
Letsholonyane – 9
Yeye is pure class. His performance against Mali was up there with the best individual performance of the entire AFCON. His ability to pick a through-ball is outstanding and as the third member of the middle trio he was outstanding. Would push Furman and Khune tight for the Bafana Player of the tournament.
Parker – 6
The PSL hitman failed to deliver on the national stage for Bafana and was very disappointing throughout the tournament. Employed out wide on the left he often seemed to be a spectator for the tournament and will be very disappointed with his own display!
Rantie – 7
Saved by his performance against Mali, when in the half an hour he was on, caused more trouble than some of his team mates did in hours on the pitch. Still a bit of a raw talent at International football level, however will be pleased with his overall performance at AFCON 2013.
Majoro – 6.5
We saw flashes of brilliance like his goal against Angola, but they were all to much that, just flashes. When he came on for Rantie against Mali he was not helped by the Bafana boys consistently knocking long balls to a player who is much more skilled with the ball at his feet.
Tshabalala – 5
Shaba was the star of the last tournament we hosted, but after an abject display in the opening game against Cape Verde he was consigned to the bench until his late appearance in the Quarter Final. He is the only Bafana player that knows how to take a penalty though!
Serero – 4
Some may say he is unfit, but his performances reeked of someone who wanted to be the man of the match. Put that into contrast with Furman who was happy to do the basic work first. Serero is probably the most naturally talented footballer in South Africa, but he needs to harness that talent if he is to become the player we know he is capable of.
Matlaba – 4
He didnt do too much wrong but a disappointing match against Cape Verde was the last of his performances.
Dikgacoi – 3
He has been so impressive for Crystal Palace but he was unable to repeat any of that for Bafana. He too looked unfit and was frustrating in the warm-up games as well.
Chabangu – did not play enough to be rated
Mphela – 3
Its not his fault that he was selected when ridiculously unfit. Killer had no killer instinct and was constantly on the receiving end of stick from the fans. He will be back though so dont write him off after this.
Ngcongca – 7
The best right back in the country who adds as much to attack as he does to defense. His suspension was unfortunate as he deserved to play in the Quarter final. You can tell of his importance when fans were so upset at his suspension!
Manyisa – did not play enough to be rated