Bafana Bafana

OPINION: Bafana can’t rest on their laurels yet

2018-10-15 13:01
Stuart Baxter
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - There is invariably a sweet taste emerging for any soccer team recording what can be termed a goal glut.

WATCH: Bafana arrive in Seychelles for return clash

But it would be naive to imagine that Bafana Bafana's runaway 6-0 African Nations Cup qualifying win against the Seychelles at a rain-splattered, largely deserted FNB Stadium on Saturday was anything more difficult and daunting than taking candy from a kid.

The defensive prowess in general and tackling in particular of the bemused Seychelles combination, who are ranked a lowly 189th in the world and have now failed to win any of their last 18 matches, would have embarrassed a school team - emphasised by the fact that despite conceding six goals the unfortunate Islanders' best player was goalkeeper Romeo Barra - and Bafana's Itumeleng Khune was not required to make a single save of note throughout the 90 minutes!

The runaway six-goal victory, at the same time, was the biggest South Africa has achieved in the Bafana era - although the first multi-racial South African team beat Zimbabwe (then still known as Rhodesia) 7-0 in the mid-1970s and in 1955 what was still known as the Springboks beat Australia 8-0.

So where does this leave what remained a largely encouraging, pleasing and unusually thoughtful performance for Bafana insofar as next year's 24-nation tournament in Cameroon is concerned?

Well, if South Africa win the return qualifier against Seychelles in the Seychelles on Tuesday - and anything less will be viewed as a train smash - at least one point will still be needed from the remaining two games against Nigeria (home) and Libya (away) to secure a place among the qualifiers who will be heading for Cameroon.

To avoid two such defeats is certainly well within Bafana's means, but such calamities have happened in the past for South Africa's national team and coach Stuart Baxter is too wise and experienced to count his chickens before they have hatched - and not drum the message into the heads of his players as well.

What is more, the articulate Baxter has seemingly also managed to imprint on his players a uniform composure, calculated team work and movement off the ball insofar as both defence and attack are concerned.

Now it remains to be seen if these attributes are firmly imprinted - or no more than in the Indian Summer category and are limited for games against the Seychelles and such-like.

Read more on:    seychelles  |  bafana bafana  |  sy lerman  |  soccer
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