South African players call on fans to blow Brazil away

June 24th, 2009 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, June 24 (DPA) South African players called on their fans to come to Thursday’s Confederations Cup semi-final with their plastic trumpets (vuvuzelas) to blow their opponents away.
Bafana goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez told a press conference after training that South African players were used to vuvuzelas.

“They create a typical South African atmosphere at the games. We should have something typical of Africa at the Confederations Cup and the World Cup and we should add our own flair,” he said.

When told that Brazilian striker Robinho had said they disturb the players and should be banned, the goalkeeper, who plays for German club Arminia Bielefeld, called on fans to come in their tens of thousands with their vuvuzelas to Thursday’s match.

“If it gives us a psychological advantage, then I hope the supporters blow even harder,” he said.

Fernandez was one of four players who was in the South African team (the others are captain Aaron Mokoena, defender Matthew Booth and goalkeeper Brian Baloyi) at the Sidney Olympics, where the South African team caused a huge upset by beating the more-fancied Brazilian team 3-1.

“The Brazilian team included their present captain Lucio and goalkeeper Julio Cesar and nobody expected us to get anything from the match.

“But the crowd just got behind us and we played really well and won.

“I am hoping it will be like that in Thursday’s game. Whatever happens, Bafana can’t really lose. If we lose, it is expected because we are playing against the best team in the world and if we win, it will just be terrific.”

He said that the most important thing for the side from the last two matches at the competition was that they played well. “If we can walk away from here with our heads held high, we would have achieved a lot.”

Fernandez said he could remember the first time Brazil played in South Africa. “We were leading 2-0, but the coach then made some changes and the team fell apart and lost 3-2.

“I remember watching the game and thinking that it must be a dream to play against players like Romario and Bebeto, who were in the team then.

“Now it is our turn to make a dream come true. We will be playing against some of the most expensive players in the world. But we do not need to put them on a pedestal. At the end of the day, it is 11 against 11.”

He quipped that he was sure tall defender Matthew Booth, who has been described as the Vinny Jones of South Africa, would be very eager to get stuck into Robinho. “And I am sure he wants to give Kaka a piece of his mind.”

His team-mate Teko Modise said that he was confident that Bafana would play well against Brazil. “They are going to play very attack-minded and that will give us space. We have to play our hearts out and we need to score goals.

“We know that they have scored a lot of goals, but they have also conceded goal, they have conceded more than we have and hopefully they will concede some against us too.”

He said that he personally did not play very well against Spain in their 2-0 defeat in the group stage as he was following team orders.

“There is a reason why Spain is number one in the world. They have exceptional players and we said we were not going to allow them to play against us.”

The Orlando Pirates midfielder said that before the start they would have been happy to go to the semi-finals. “But now we want to go further. We want to win and the Brazilians are not unbeatable.”

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