Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
10 Jun 2022
10:42 am

Foster hails ‘special moment’ despite ‘bittersweet’ Bafana goal

Jonty Mark

'I think we played well, and we were unfortunate with the result,' said the Bafana striker.

Lyle Foster scored his first Bafana goal on Thursday against Morocco. Picture: Nour Akanja/BackpagePix.

Lyle Foster admitted it was a “bittersweet” moment for him to have scored his first Bafana Bafana goal in a losing cause, as South Africa ultimately went down 2-1 to Morocco in their opening Group K Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rabat on Thursday.

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The 21 year-old was given the responsibility of leading the attacking line for Bafana and responded with a superbly-taken goal in the eighth minute to give Bafana a shock lead. Ultimately, however, the Atlas Lions got a deserved home win after laying siege to the South African goal for most of the match.

“I think we played well, and we were unfortunate with the result,” Foster told Safa media, however.

“But we need to forget this result and go back to improving at our clubs so against Liberia we can get the two wins we desperately need.

“I hope so,” said Foster, when asked if his family and friends would have been celebrating back in Noordgesig, Soweto.

“It was nice to finally score my first goal for Bafana, it was definitely a special moment for me, my family and my community, but it was bittersweet because we didn’t end up winning.”

The former Orlando Pirates striker, who is now at Westerlo in Belgium, added that his Bafana teammate Sphephelo Sithole had been encouraging him about scoring against Morocco all week in training.

It was Sithole who provided the assist for Foster’s goal, sending through a fine pass from midfield, that he controlled, holding off PSG star Ashraf Hakimi, and driving the ball low into the net.

‘Yaya’ (Sithole’s nickname) was just on my case the whole week, telling me I need to score, score, score!” said Foster.

“He was motivating me and telling me it was going to come, so it was nice that the assist came from him.”

Defeat against Morocco, the second-ranked team in Africa, was expected, in truth, and as Foster mentioned, Bafana still have a good chance of qualifying for the 2023 Afcon finals, especially if they can pick up home-and-away wins over Liberia in September.

“For sure, we know what we need to do in September,” Bafana head coach Hugo Broos told Safa media.

“I was not disappointed about the performance today, we fought for it. We played a very strong Morocco team, so that was good. I hope we can do it in September with two wins.”