South African playmaker Themba Zwane was impressed with the team’s fighting spirit after managing to secure a 0-0 draw against Tunisia in their final group game at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast on Wednesday.
The outcome of the Group E clash played in Korhogo’s Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium meant the 1996 champions advanced to the knockout stages for the first time since the 2019 edition held in Egypt while Tunisia disappointingly crashed out as they finished bottom of the group following a simultaneous 0-0 draw in San Pedro between Mali and Namibia which saw Mali finish as the group leaders, while Namibia advanced as third best finisher.
“We knew as a team that it was going to be difficult because they use a lot of physique and at the same time, we wanted to avoid necessary cautions and fouls. It was a difficult match but credit to my teammates for fighting on and ensuring that we keep calm and avoid costly mistakes,” said an elated Zwane, who was named man of the match.
Commenting on the team’s performance, Zwane said it was important for the team to keep going even though it was physically taxing. “This one was difficult. We coordinated well, even though they were closing the spaces for us. We tried to be calm and penetrated to create more chances. They were tired and so were we, so it was important to keep calm and keep the ball. We have a good team to go forward for the games and fight. We are going to push ourselves.”