South Africa’s hopes of moving on from Group B at the Under-17 AFCON in Algeria are now in doubt after losing to Nigeria 3-2 on Saturday night.
However, the Young Bafana Bafana coach Duncan Crowie is proud of his players and the grit they showed throughout their time in the tournament.
South Africa are one of the two top third-place teams who have to wait to find out whether they would advance to the round of eight following Sunday’s match between Cameroon and Burkina Faso.
A draw would have increased their chances of qualifying but lost to the resilient Golden Eaglets of Nigeria. Crowie’s team lost after twice gaining the lead.
While Nigeria moved to the quarter-finals, South Africa have to wait to see if they could qualify as one of the best losers.
In an interview with CAFOnline on Sunday after the 3-2 defeat to Nigeria, the South African coach expressed his satisfaction with his team despite the defeat.
The coach also praised his team’s development throughout the last three games, stating that this was the competition’s most crucial purpose.
He said, “I told them in the dressing room that we didn’t disgrace ourselves and Nigeria is a very good team. It showed in the field that we gave everything we could and I can only be grateful. Of course, I am not happy with the result, but I am happy with their performance.
“I looked at the players in the dressing room and they were all disappointed. That is a sign that they care otherwise I would have been worried if they were not disappointed. They can hold their heads high because they gave everything and we tried to play beautiful football.
“It is what it is. I will be watching of course and hopefully, the result goes our way. It is a difficult and complicated situation but that’s how football is sometimes”.