As the country celebrates their 10th anniversary of the 2010 Fifa World Cup that was hosted in South Africa, former skipper Aaron Mokoena rues missing striker Benni McCarthy's experience.
The former Portsmouth defender laments the lack of experience in the team coached by Brazilian manager Carlos Alberto Parreira and Mamelodi Sundowns' Pitso Mosimane, saying they had goosebumps.
Bafana Bafana failed to reach the knockout stage of the first global showpiece ever to be staged in the African continent, they drew against Mexico, lost to Uruguay, and beat France in their final group match in Bloemfontein.
“We had goosebumps, it was the first time most of the guys were playing at a World Cup, it was right in front of our people, and Soccer City was filled to capacity,” said Mokoena as quoted by DailySun.
“The whole world was watching the opening and the match, we were nervous and we needed the experience of Benni McCarthy. Yes, we had talent, we had energy in the team, unity, but I always believe in experience.
“No one can buy experience. The inexperience worked against us and going into the match against Uruguay [at Loftus Stadium], one man down [after Itumeleng Khune was sent off], that was a big blow.
“It was very disappointing not to get through.”
As the 1996 African champions were building up to the biggest tournament in football, McCarthy was under severe criticism regarding his weight. Due to his injury problems at West Ham United, the former Porto striker failed to prove his fitness in time for the World Cup.