Kumasi, Feb. 1, GNA - The players and national coaches of Senegal and South Africa have expressed regret of their early exit from the 26th MTN Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations currently underway. Expressing their sentiments in a post match and mid-zone press meetings in Kumasi after both teams had settled for a pulsating 1-1 drawn game in their last "Group D" match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Thursday, they said they were going home with positive things. Gueye Babacar Mbaye, a player of Terenga Lions of Senegal, said they were not happy of leaving at that stage but stressed that the players were resolute and prepared to defend their nation. He said the youthful players presented by the nation would continue to train hard, adding that they had gained some experience from the tournament, which would be to their benefit.
A South African player, Morris Nasief also indicated that the players came and did their best.
Nasief said the national team, the Bafana Bafana wanted to build a formidable team, stressing that they did well even though most of the senior players, who played in the qualifying series were not present in the group.
The South African Coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira expressed disappointment with the results of the match, saying that being a new team and playing for the first time in such a competitive tournament, they were going back home with positive things. He said he was going home with the boys to turn them into a formidable team for the World Cup in 2010.
Coach Parreira said he was satisfied with the general performance of the boys but that there was a lot to do to improve on their performance.
Coach Lamine Diaye of the Teranga Lions of Senegal also said his boys did not have ample time to work. In spite of this, "we played very well, though we are out of the competition anyway".
In the match itself, it was the Bafana Bafana who took the lead through Zuma Sibusiso when the match was 15 minutes old with the Lions levelling up the scores in the 37th minute through Henri Camara. At the end of the match, Morris Nasief and Zuma Sibusiso both of Bafana Bafana were honoured with the MTN Man-of-the-Match and Samsung Fair-play awards, respectively.
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