Team effort helped SA beat Belgium
04 July 2012 | Sapa
DUBLIN – The South African defensive unit kept the Belgium attack at bay for much of the game, soaking up tremendous amounts of pressure, to eventually grind out a win.
“It was a nice, solid team performance,” Reid-Ross said.
“We had a couple of forwards and defenders playing in the midfield line which made things a little more difficult for us in managing our defensive area.
“But credit to the whole team. It was 11 guys putting in a massive effort for 70 minutes.”
World No 11 Belgium – ranked a place higher than South Africa – opened the scoring five minutes into the game through a set-piece and looked to completely shut out their opponents through sustained periods of pressure.
Thanks largely to the determined SA defensive effort, however, guided by goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse, they took their scoring opportunities when they came.
“Our back four defenders did pretty well to limit the clear-cut chances that they Belgium had,” Reid-Ross said.
“I think generally the defence started in the front three attackers, through the midfield and into the back four, so it was a big team effort.”
The Belgians’ celebrations were short-lived after they drew first blood, with South African striker Thornton McDade scoring the equaliser shortly after the restart.
This was followed by an excellent Tim Drummond pass finding Lloyd Norris-Jones in the area, who put away his fourth goal in as many games.
Reid-Ross said the South African outfit played to their strengths in building play from their defensive base, while the attackers made a solid effort in closing down spaces in the Belgian midfield.
“The distribution and the tempo we have around the back four is one of our main strengths,” he said.
The Netherlands-based defender added that a terrific effort from Pieterse helped the defence in keeping the Belgium attackers away from the net.
Pieterse enjoyed a dominant performance in goal, making several crucial saves to keep his side in the lead.
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