Mphela returned an hour later with stitches on his lower lip after being on the receiving end of an unintentional elbow from a Guan United SC defender.
The incident occurred in a hastily-arranged kick-around to enable Bafana Bafana to loosen up at the Tamale Secondary School and end the monotony of training.
But things got worse when Guan’s Anani Addison waltzed his way past two South African defenders and then, with the goals in sight, unleashed a grounder that beat Itumeleng Khune.
For the next ten minutes the group of South African journalists watching the practice match were wondering if the humiliation of our Bafana would continue unabated.
Then things came right, and according to a report on Matsatsantsa’s website, first Surprise Moriri converted two penalties, then Siphiwe Tshabalala beat the off-side trap to add the third before Thembinkosi Fanteni scored another penalty and Lerato Chabangu added the fifth as Bafana ran out 5-1 winners.
“We had an opportunity to correct the mistakes we committed on Sunday,” said Moriri at the end of the game. “It will not help to apportion blame to anyone. Collectively as a team we did not play as well as we should have.
“We were not outplayed by the Tunisians. We did well under the circumstances, but then we committed mistakes and were punished. It is not over yet. We are not going to throw in the towel. Anything can still happen in the final group matches.
Moriri’s views were echoed by Siphiwe Tshabalala, who also said they were not outplayed.
“The challenge facing us now will be how we respond as a team against Senegal.”
snl24.com/kickoff’s Luthando Zibeko, reporting from Tamale, says Carlos Alberto Parreira and his team were back at work this morning with the spirit high as players joked among each other after the session.
“There is no room for mistakes on Thursday,” said a confident looking Bafana Bafana striker Sibusiso Zuma.
Bafana Bafana has yet to beat Senegal, having lost to them on three occasions.
Zuma, who has been quoted as saying that the 2008 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will be his last, says he wants to score on Thursday. A senior member of the squad, Zuma has made three appearances in the African showpiece and Ghana 2008 is his fourth.
“I do not want to leave the tournament without a goal. I wish the team can continue creating chances as they have been doing and we can score as many goals as we can.
“I will be spending more time in the box in the next game. The strategy will be focused on attacking against Senegal. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes as we did against Tunisia. We need to win on Thursday,” says the 32-year-old.
Bafana midfield talisman, Teko Modise believes that the problems surrounding the Senegalese national team, with their coach quitting, will not affect the Lions of Taranga in their quest to qualify for the second round.
“They are an experienced side and I do not think their coach leaving will cause any disruption to their preparations. It is up to us to raise our game against them. We are motivating ourselves going to this game. We need to keep the ball more on the ground and play according to our strengths,” says the Orlando Pirates midfielder.
Modise, who watched his teammates sweating it out at Tamale training ground, believes he will be okay for Thursday’s encounter after suffering a minor knock next to his groin on Sunday.
“I should be fine by Thursday it is just a minor knock. The coach decided that I sit out to avoid aggravating the injury,” he says.