Bafana Bafana

LISTEN: Baxter's post-match press conference

2017-09-06 09:36
Stuart Baxter (Gallo)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he has never been as disappointed after a football match as he was following Tuesday night's 2-1 loss to Cape Verde in Durban. 

The result leaves Bafana's World Cup qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 in tatters. 

With just two rounds of qualifying left, South Africa are bottom of Group D and even victories against Burkina Faso and Senegal might not be enough to secure participation in Russia. 

At his post-match press conference, Baxter was clearly upset and he almost snapped a couple of times when probed on team selection and the use of his substitutions. 

"Do you think (Andile) Jali is a more creative player than (Hlompo) Kekana? I'm trying to be calm and balanced to answer your questions," Baxter said when probed on the thinking behind his decision to introduce Andile Jali off the bench for striker Bradley Grobler with 25 minutes remaining. 

"Jali is an attacking option. We're 2-0 down and I want all of my attacking options on the field. I thought it was the right time to put him on."

Baxter also felt hard done by after Garry Rodrigues put Cape Verde ahead with a well-struck free-kick. 

"From my position on the bench it looked like a very soft free kick ... it looked like the guy threw himself," Baxter said of Morgan Gould's challenge.

"It doesn't matter. It's a critical phase and we get a free kick against us which is dangerous."

Baxter would not make any statements about Bafana's chances of getting to Russia after back-to-back losses to Cape Verde, but he did open up on his emotional state following the defeat. 

"I'm very disappointed, verging on devastated," he said.

"At this stage, to make that sort of call (on Bafana's qualifying chances) ... I don't want to. I would like to see what happens with the other results and see what's mathematically possible.

"We've got to improve, even if the results go our way, to take that chance.

"At this moment in time I'm very disappointed and it's difficult to see the sun coming up tomorrow, let alone going to Russia.

"I've not had a more disappointed feeling anywhere else after a football game than I do now."

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