The 50-year-old tactician was impressed by the Falcons and True Parrots Team, who proved to be no pushovers
South Africa head coach Molefi Ntseki says he knew Bafana Bafana were bound to defeat Sao Tome and Principe despite a poor first-half showing by his charges on Friday night.
Bafana had to dig deep for their 2-0 victory over the Falcons and True Parrots Team in the 2020 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Durban.
Ntseki’s side struggled to create clear-cut chances and they were indecisive in front of goal at times in the first-half, but an improved second-half performance saw Percy Tau and Bongani Zungu grab two goals.
The Botshabelo-born tactician lauded Sao Tome, who are ranked 182nd in the world following the match which was played at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“They [Sao Tome] gave a good account of themselves in terms of how they played in the first half,” Ntseki said during the post-match conference
“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.”
Sao Tome reached this stage of the Afcon qualifiers after eliminating Mauritius in the preliminary round in October 2019.
The Falcons and True Parrots Team came into the encounter with South Africa having displayed their stubbornness in their narrow 1-0 defeat to Ghana in a Group C match in Sao Tome in November 2019.
“This is a team that won against Mauritius to be in the group, that only lost 1-0 against Ghana,” the former South Africa under-17 head coach added.
“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.”
Ntseki will be hoping to mastermind another victory over the Island country when they face Bafana in the reverse fixture at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium where Sao Tome will officially be the home side on Monday.
A victory for South Africa will see them go level on points with leaders, Ghana on the Group C standings.
Ghana are set to travel to Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman where they will take on Sudan on Tuesday.