Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter was left encouraged by his team’s performance during a training match against Ghana in Dubai on Saturday, as part of the preparations for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament that kicks-off in Egypt this week.
The two teams played a goalless draw in a game where Baxter fielded two line-ups in each half giving almost all the players a chance to get game time.
The starting line-up truly resembled what could be the team Baxter starts with in the opening AFCON game against Ivory Coast on the 24th of this month.
Bafana will leave for Egypt on Monday afternoon where they will continue with their preparations for the AFCON and they play another friendly match against Angola on Wednesday.
The tournament gets underway on Friday the 24th with hosts Egypt up against Zimbabwe at Cairo stadium.
All eyes will be on Bafana’s Percy Tau in Group D, which also includes Morocco and neighbours Namibia.
The Brighton Hove and Albion striker scored some important goals for South Africa during the qualifiers, starting with Nigeria in Uyo and the brace that floored Libya in the last game to confirm this qualification.
Baxter responds to questions from Ghanaian media on how Tau fared in yesterday’s training match.
Between 2004 and 2015, Bafana have only won two AFCON matches at the finals and proceed only one in that period beyond the group stages.
Asked if his team will be one of the favourites going to this AFCON, Baxter was realistic in his outlook.
This was Ghana’s second international friendly match against a Southern African country in a space of seven days, having lost to Namibia 1-0 last week.
The Black Stars are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea Bissau.
Baxter says the West Africans will be a threat at this AFCON once they starting clicking as a team. – Report by Velile Mnyandu