Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has heaped praise on Sao Tome e Principe, who gave his side a hard time at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday night.
In their third match of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifiers, South Africa battled to a 2-0 victory which propped them up to within three points of Group C leaders, Ghana.
Sao Tome e Principe give Bafana a tough time
The hosts got over the line courtesy of a second-half penalty from Percy Tau and a late header from Bongani Zungu, who came on as a late substitute.
Speaking after the game, Ntseki lauded the islanders for a good showing against a side many would have expected to walk over them.
“They (Sao Tome) gave a good account of themselves in terms of how they played in the first half, but we knew we have good quality in our team, and knew making tactical changes in the team, the players would gain confidence and belief to say they could win. It worked for us … but we must also give respect to our opponents, they are not here because someone did them a favour.
“This is a team that won against Mauritius to be in the group, that only lost 1-0 against Ghana. With the patience and tactical awareness we showed. We managed to take our chances, it was a bit tense in the first half, but ultimately we knew we would do well.”
Molefi Ntseki, Bafana Bafana coach
The two sides will battle it out once more in Port Elizabeth on Monday, in a fixture billed as an away fixture for South Africa.
Victory for both Bafana and the Black Stars in the next round of fixtures will almost guarantee both teams a spot in the continental showpiece, which will be held in Cameroon.