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Baxter reflects on SA’s disappointing qualifying campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Scent ition

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 15:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter has reflected on Bafana Bafana’s disappointing FIFA 2018 World Cup campaign which ended with a 2-1 away defeat to Senegal on Tuesday night.

The British tactician admitted the World Cup qualifiers was a difficult campaign adding it is not easy to come in and impose your philosophy there and then and put across your ideas. This is something which is a process and takes time when speaking to the SAFA website.

“The replay against Senegal, a match South Africa had won, didn’t help for the mental part of the game. However, looking back, I think our biggest shortcoming, which has been the country’s perennial problem, has been scoring goals,” he said.

“We need to understand what win games; it is something I have been trying to put across to the players as part of my philosophy.

The trainer however said in trying to inculcate the winning mentality, it was important not to compromise the South African tradition of doing things.

“We need to maintain our philosophy and that is flamboyance and attacking football,” he continued.

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach said while results at most times were disappointing,Bafana showed if the team gets the balance right between efficiency and flamboyance, they can mix with the best there is.

“But we are not consistent enough; we need to produce that type of football on regular basis to stay on top,” he stressed.

The experienced tactician said most of that was caused by lack of scoring prowess but was something he would work on although results cannot be achieved overnight.

“We need to challenge for top slots. We have shown it against top opposition; we have dominated them for long periods with some good football but failed to finish them off. What we need is to be more professional and continue to develop our own type of football that reflects the culture of South Africa,” he explained.

The former SuperSport United coach added that he would like to thank South African supporters whose love for the national team was unquestionable.

“They (fans) play an important role in the development of the game and we hope they continue to be part of this process. They are the most important stakeholder of the game,” Baxter concluded.



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Sadio Mane looking forward to World Cup qualifying test against South Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 17:30


Senegal and Liverpool star, Sadio Mane has expressed happiness after making his comeback for the Reds in the English Premier League last weekend.

Mane also said he is ready to face South Africa in their upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier away on November 10 and and at home four days later.

The 25-year-old suffered a hamstring injury while playing for the Lions of Teranga on October 7 and only made his return in Liverpool‘s 4-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Although Senegal lost 2-1 to Bafana Bafana last year, FIFA ordered the match to be replayed after finding Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey guilty of match manipulation.

Coach Aliou Cisse and his troops now need two points from their remaining two qualifying matches to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: GROUP A HEAD-TO-HEADS

“I am very happy to be back because it was not easy,” Mane told BBC Sport.

“There’s no excuse for me now – I was injured but I was always working hard.”

“It’s going to be tough because we know how South Africa is, even when they are not in good form.

“We respect them but we also know we have quality and we have a great team and I think we can do it.

“Everybody knows what it means for the country – especially the fans – and I think it will be a dream for us and hopefully God will help us to qualify.

“Every player would love to play until the end of the season without injury. It’s part of football so we accept it and move forward.”



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SA ease into next CHAN qualifying round


Tumisang Orebonye of Botswana challenged by Mothobi Mvala of South Africa during 2018 Chan Qualifiers game between South Africa and Botswana at Moruleng Stadium on 22 July 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 22, 2017. 17:22


South Africa overcame Botswana 1-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier Southern Zone second-leg match at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday.

The win sees Bafana Bafana advance to the next round where they face either Swaziland or Zambia after winning the tie 3-0 on aggregate, while the Zebras are out of the qualifying campaign.

The hosts dominated from the start as they pressed the Zebras in the first 15 minutes of the match in search of the opening goal.

The early pressure paid off as Sipho Mbule set-up his Bafana Bafana teammate Ryan Moon, who made it 1-0 to South Africa 13 minutes into the game.

There was no supply for the Zebras attackers Tumisang Orebonye and Lemogang Maswena as Bafana controlled the tempo of the match.

Moon had a chance to doubled South Africa’s lead just after the half-hour mark, but somehow, he missed the target as pressure mounted on Botswana.

Thero Setsile, the Botswana attacker, was ruled offiside towards the half-time break as the visitors looked to pull one back.

However, the first-half ended with South Africa leading 1-0 on the day and 3-0 on aggregate against Botswana.

The Zebras played much better in the second-half containing Bafana and they also launched attacks.

Second-half substitute Kabelo Seakanyeng had a chance to level matters from a free-kick in a promising area just after the hour-mark.

However, the Gaborone United attacker narrowly missed the target from the set-piece as the visitors looked to silence the home crowd.

The Bafana defence which was led by captain Mario Booysen was solid with the Zebras forced to try their luck from range.

Bafana stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the encounter and they ran out 1-0 winners on the day.

South Africa (1) 1 (Moon 13′)

Botswana (0) 0

South Africa: Pule, Nhlapo, Malepe, Booysen, Mvala (Mthethwa 75′), Kumalo, Mbule, Moon, Alexander, Ntshangase (Morton 68′), Ntuli (Zuma 46′).

Botswana: Masule, Monthe (Moyo 49′), Setsile, Leririma, Mathumo, Gaolaolwe, Gadibolae, Senwelo, Orebonye, Maswena (Seakanyeng 66′), Tshireletso.



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