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Furman's African adventure

7 February 2013

It was a phenomenal experience says Dean

Dean Furman described playing for South Africa in the African Cup of Nations as something he will never forget.

"It was a phenomenal experience and unbelievable," explained Latics' captain.

Furman helped the Bafana Bafana reach the quarter finals where they lost to Mali after a penalty shootout.

He continued: "The end was a dampener because there is no worse feeling than going out on penalties.

"We had been practicing penalties all week because we knew there was always a chance games could be decided by them.

"We went into the shootout confident, but they are a lottery and it was not to be."

Furman added that Bafana Bafana had chances to beat Mali, ranked three for the tournament, in the two hours of the quarter final before the game went to penalties.

"We were 1-0 ahead and had other chances so could have been out of sight," he continued.

Furman started in three of South Africa's four matches in the tournament - they beat Angola and drew with Cape Verde and Morocco to top their group.

He said: "Overall we did ourselves proud. The nation got behind us and to play in front of full houses was amazing.

"It has whetted my appetite for more and our next goal is to qualify for the World Cup in 2014. I want to be in Brazil."

And from a personal perspective he says it was great to play against two of the world's top midfield players - Morocco's Younes Belhanda, who is at Inter Milan and former Barcelona player Seydou Keita.

Furman was delighted to hear Latics had beaten Liverpool in the FA Cup with Budweiser, a game which was played at the same time as South Africa were completing their group phase against Morocco.

He said: "At half time during our game, one of the players told me my boys had done the business against Liverpool.

"I was not sure what he meant and only found out at the end.

"It was incredible and the win certainly put Oldham on the map in South Africa."

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