South Africa coach expects tough mission in Nations Cup

Ahram Online , Sunday 16 Jun 2019,
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Stuart Baxter
Stuart Baxter (Photo: AFP)

South Africa coach  Stuart Baxter said on Sunday he is satisfied with his side's goalless draw against Ghana in a Nations Cup warm-up in Dubai on Saturday, refusing to tip the Bafana Bafana as favourites to win the tournament, which kicks off in Egypt on Friday. 

“It is our first game and so we played everybody in the squad and to draw 0-0 with the Black Stars when we have rotated the whole team, I think it is fair," Baxter told the South Africa Football Association official website on Sunday.

"So an exercise yes, we would like to win but I think we achieved what we wanted to achieve.

“I looked at the team tonight and I thought there are certain players who put their hands up and there are some players who might have weakened their case.

"I thought the players one think should be in the starting line-up, most of them did well."

Baxter added that his side is not fully ready yet for the Nations Cup but he is confident the Bafana Bafana will be up to the task of facing Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia in Group D. 

"We are not fully ready but we will be. We have another game against Angola and then with the trainings we have in between before the Ivory Coast game, we should then be ready," he said.

"Bafana Bafana is a team in reconstruction, this team is ok, a team that didn’t lose against Ghana. We have not lost in almost one and half years now; that is encouraging but to talk of being favourites will be like stretching it a bit far.

"There is Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco who all feel they have much better chance than us.

"What we need to do is improve and keep improving and play our game with confidence and not to show exaggerated respect for our opponents. If we can win a few games, then you never know what happens next," he concluded.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1