Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Baxter thanks clubs for releasing players

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has applauded the clubs that managed to release players to the national team for the upcoming 2017 Cosafa Cup.

With the tournament falling outside the Fifa calendar date, it was always going to be difficult to get players for the competition, but most clubs have acceded to the call by availing players to represent their country.

Baxter has called up 20 players for the tournament, with goalkeeper Boalefa Pule and defender Mario Booysen (both Supersport United), the last players to arrive in camp on Monday, 26 June.

“It is a fact that this tournament does not fall under the Fifa calendar date, so it was always going to be a struggle to put together a team, but we have say a big thank you to all the clubs who were able to assist us in putting together this group of players. The cooperation we got from the clubs was very positive and inspiring and we really appreciate thatl,” said Baxter.

The Bafana Bafana mentor has arrived in the national team camp following his heroics with Supersport United where he was able to defend the Nedbank Cup after defeating Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the final on Saturday (24 June 2017) in Durban.

The victory marked Baxter’s end of reign at the club and will now be with Bafana Bafana without moving back and forth between the two assignments.

“It’s a good thing that I am now able to focus all my attention on the national team and don’t have to keep on swapping hats and uniforms to service this or the other project. Now I am able to pour all my energies on this one job and make the best of it. I have to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout and I hope that support continues because we have a very important period ahead of us in the national team – first up is the Cosafa Cup, then the CHAN tournament, followed by World Cup qualifiers and early next year we play the AFCON qualifiers – so we going to need all the support we can get,” added Baxter.

Bafana Bafana will have a practice match against Platinum Stars this afternoon to prepare for the Cosafa Cup, while the home team will use the match to ready themselves for the CAF Confederations Cup in Algeria this coming weekend. The Cosafa Cup started on Sunday, 25 June but South Africa will only join on Sunday, 2 July.

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Bafana Bafana upset Super Eagles in Uyo

Bafana Bafana shocked Nigeria’s Super Eagles in their first qualifying match for the African Cup of Nations in Uyo. It was the first time in 23 years that the South Africans would beat the Super Eagles.
The South African team won the encounter 2-0, leaving Nigerian fans shocked.
The goals were scored in the 55th and 82nd minute by RantieTokelo and Percy Tau.

Libya mauled Seychelles 5-1 in the second match of Group E, making the Libyans top of the table, with South Africa second.
South African national team coach, Stuart Baxter revealed the team’s winning strategy: “We opened up the game in the first half but unfortunately we did not score. Beating Nigeria is very interesting.
“Nigeria is a very good side but my boys prevented them from scoring. We are trying to develop our boys and expose them,’’ he said.
The visitors took advantage of their slower opponents in the second half of the match and made crisp passes that sank the Eagles in their backyard.

Moses Simon, Etebo Oghenekaro and Ndidi Wilfred were easily the best Eagles on the pitch on a day the team failed to fly.
Incidentally, Rantie was the player whose goals stopped the Nigeria senior male football team in the 2014 nation’s cup qualifier.
Saturday’s defeat by South Africa was the first loss of Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles Head coach.
Rohr said after the match that his boys played well in the first half but were overpowered by the experience of the South Africans in the second half.

According to him, We had difficulties in finishing the match because we made so many efforts in the first half while some of our players were tired in the second half.
“We tried to open the wings and bring power to the team but unfortunately it did not yield fruits.
“I have trust in these boys because they played well in the first half but they could not score. We win and lose together.
“I think the next game with Cameroon will be very interesting. It will be better, much, much better,” he said.

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