This was the first time Mashaba set foot in South Africa since he was appointed head coach of Bafana Bafana last month.
“Reality has now sunk in and I feel the weight of expectations from the public because this is their team. I promise not to disappoint but I cannot do it alone, with your help South Africa we will do well for this team. Do not put us under too much pressure and when you do criticize let it be constructive to help us build Bafana Bafana,” said a sobbing Mashaba as he addressed the media the OR Tambo International Airport.
He was welcomed at the airport by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
Turning to the Amajita squad, Mashaba said he was excited about the project at hand. The South African Men’s Under 20 National Team played four matches in a space of 16 days – two draws against Burkina Faso and Mali (1-1 and 0-0 respectively), and lost to Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire (1-0 each).
“It was a good experience for the boys, and there was a lot fatigue, not just from playing but there was a lot of travelling involved. We played four matches and that was a good test because when the team has qualified for the championship this is the kind of organisation we will face. Though I am not happy with the results I am quite encouraged by the performance,” said Mashaba.
Mashaba said he was also pleased with what he saw, especially in the last match.
“Cote d’Ivoire gave us a good clue of what to expect in Cameroon. They were quick off the mark, physical and were also good running on and off the ball. That was perhaps our toughest match on tour and it showed that my boys have it in them to mix it with the best. I am very confident that come the Cameroon game, it will be a different story,” he said.
South Africa will face Cameroon in a 2015 African Youth Championship first leg qualifier scheduled for Saturday, 16 August 2014.
The overall winner between South Africa and Cameroon will qualify for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championship which will be held in Senegal from 8 – 22 March in 2015.
The top three at the AYC will represent Africa at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand.
SA U20 results in West Africa
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
vs Burkina Faso 1–1
(Stade 4 Août, Ouagadougou)
Saturday, 26 July 2014
vs Mali 0–0
(Stade Modibo Keita, Bamako)
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
vs Senegal 1–0
(Stade Caroline Faye, Mbour)
Monday, 4 August 2014
vs Cote d’Ivoire 1–0
(Stade Robert Champroux, Abidjan)
Saturday, 16 August 2014
(Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaounde)