2019 AFCON Qualification Gets Tougher
Bafana Bafana’s coach, Stuart Baxter’s has promised to get the qualification ticket of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) for South Africa by all possible legal means.
News Nigeria learnt that Baxter, 65-year-old football manager aims to achieve his objective with a new plot to stop Super Eagles of Nigeria from moving further in the competition by defeating Libya in their Saturday’s home game in the bid to consolidate on their away 2-0 win against Nigeria in Uyo.
— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) August 28, 2018
Baxter reckoned that a win against the table-top Libyans in Durban will not increase the point gap between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria, but as well have South Africa on the top of the group, from which only one team will qualify for Cameroon 2019.
Baxter said: “In all humility, it has not been a strength of South Africa when they take on some of these countries that, on paper, are not the greatest on the planet. “To start with, names mean nothing anymore but performances mean something and we have got to try to make sure that we give the sort of performance that is going to give us the three points.
“This is certainly a Libyan team that is capable They are almost constantly in camp together, affording their coach a lot of time to prepare the team and I have seen this team give Morocco a real scare.
“I see this team as a well organised team – maybe not with the household names that Senegal, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast have, but this is a workman-like team that will present a real challenge for us.
“When you look at global football, the names of the countries are becoming less and less important.
“Iceland were only four or five years ago a total no-hoper and on this African continent we get constant surprises from teams that only five or six years ago would have been whipping boys.”
Doctor Khumalo Is Confident That Stuart Baxter Has Figured Out A Way Forward For Bafana Bafanahttps://t.co/YlBeYcsgiW
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— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) August 24, 2018
Baxter, though, warned Bafana that the AFCON 2019 qualifiers will not be one-sided, as he says no team should be considered small any longer in African and global football.
He recounted how the team flopped in last year’s World Cup qualifiers, when they were beaten both home and away by Cape Verde, a country whose population could fit into a Johannesburg suburb.
After naming a 22-player squad for the Group E clash with Libya, Baxter also recounted the heroics of Iceland at Euro 2016, but said Bafana are determined to bounce back from failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.