South Africa coach, Stuart Baxter, is disappointed at his side’s 1-1 draw with Nigeria on Saturday in an AFCON 2019 qualifier. But despite the setback Baxter says his team will fight to secure a ticket when they face Libya in Sfax Tunisia in March 2019.
Buhle Mkhwanazi bundled in Samuel Kalu’s cross for an own goal in the ninth minute of the game, but an easy tap in from Lebo Mothiba in the 26th minute earned the hosts a share of the spoils from the match day 5 encounter.
He told SuperSport in a post game interview, “I am disappointed and at the same time proud a little bit that we took four points off the Super Eagles.
“I’m disappointed a little bit and proud a little bit. We’ve taken four points off the Super Eagles, and the only goal we’ve conceded so far in this tournament is an own goal,” Baxter told SuperSport in a post-match TV interview.
“I’m disappointed that we weren’t braver. We said at halftime that we give them problems when we can play through, and we get our movement, and we run people away. And we challenge them one v one.
“And in the second half, we started going really long! That’s a sign of nerves, that we don’t want to concede.
“I want those balls to be played when it’s a good run, good delivery. But not just every time we get them, popping in behind their backline. I wanted more.
“And even the problems we gave them in the second half was the same, when we could run at them and combine.
“So, a little bit disappointed at the moment, but the fight goes on.”
Baxter stated that the lack of a killer instinct in the final third wasn’t a selection issue, but rather a mental one.
“I thought our defending, on the whole, was quite good. I think we can counter-press more, and as a team, I think we should’ve just said, ‘They are tired. That’s 15, they’re on their knees. Let’s get on the ball, move them around. Make them work’.”
Bafana Bafana, remain second in Group E following the draw with nine points from five matches. And to qualify for AFCON 2019, they must avoid defeat to Libya who are in third place with seven-points.
Nigeria will host Seychelles in their final Group E game in March while Libya who play their home games away from Tripoli will host South Africa.