Bafana Bafana

Baxter: Bafana won't 'park the bus' against Libya

2018-11-19 09:02
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter says his side won't "park the bus" against Libya in their final qualifier as they aim to avoid defeat to clinch qualification for the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament.

READ: As it happened: South Africa 1-1 Nigeria

Bafana Bafana and Nigeria played to a 1-1 draw at the FNB stadium on Saturday, a result that saw the visitors qualify for next year's tournament with Bafana's hopes firmly in their own hands.

For Baxter's men to secure qualification, they need to avoid defeat against war-torn Libya - who are two points behind in Group E - with the match set to take place on March 22, 2019 at a neutral venue.

"The best way when we go to Libya is to approach the game the normal way, Baxter told journalists. "We don’t need to go there and park the bus. Adding that the Libyans will see a better South African team which is mentally strong.

"If we stick to our game plan, we have every reason to go to Libya and believe in ourselves. We have refined what we are good at. The players deserve a pat on the back but are aware of the minefield when we go to Libya. I think we showed character having to go a goal down early in the game against Nigeria. We need to believe in ourselves."

Bafana have a history of failing to qualify for major tournaments, failing to qualify for the last two tournaments - the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon and the 2018 World Cup.

They also embarrassingly failed to qualify for AFCON 2019 after mistakenly believing they had clinched qualification on goal difference.

Baxter though remains confident that his side will qualify, after an encouraging performance against the Super Eagles.

"We've taken four points off Nigeria and only conceded in qualifying through an own goal. I can assure everyone that we will be going all out to seal qualification against Libya."

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2019  |  stuart baxter  |  soccer


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