South Africa/Egypt: Bafana's Baxter Excited About Egypt Challenge

Bafana Bafana/Twitter
South Africa's Ronwen Williams, Sfiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo (c), Thami Mkhize, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Lebo Maboe, Themba Zwane, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba.
press release

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said the players didn’t need any further motivation when they take on the hosts Egypt at Cairo International Stadium this coming Saturday, 6 July 2019.

Cairo’s biggest stadium is expected to be filled to the rafters on Saturday, not only to watch the hosts but Bafana Bafana are one of the most popular teams at this showpiece.

Coach Baxter said the tie itself was enough to motivate any player and his charges would be fired up for this particular encounter.

Cairo International Stadium has a capacity of over 80 000 people and from the interest on the Cairo streets, this match is likely to be a sell-out in coming days.

Giving his reaction to the draw after Tuesday’s last group matches, Baxter said playing against the Pharaohs was a great and exciting challenge.

“It is a great challenge and that is what the whole squad has been looking for. I think the AFCON Groups have been very tight, our group has been really tight. It was seconds away from almost every game being a different game, a different result so the people will think we have gone through the back door or whatever, but we were seconds away in a couple of games from going through on our own power and people would have said that is a great performance.

“But that is what our game is about. It is about perceptions. One referee’s decision or one mistake will change perception but we have this opportunity now to play against the host nation in front of a lot of people in a very, very hostile environment. And that is when you want people to stand up and I think the group is looking forward to it,” said Baxter.

“The main motivation is if they want to do it and I think that is the main thing, that is going to be the motivation that they want very badly to get past this hurdle. I don’t think I have to change anything; I think we have to strengthen some things.

“Our attacking players have not been at their best, our defensive play has been quite good but we need to add to that and against the quality of Egypt I guess it will be a different game altogether,” added Baxter.

The Bafana Bafana coach said if the team can add 15 percent in the attack, ‘we can give them problems.’

“I don’t think mentally we have to lift them (the players). I think mentally they know each game was too close, were there and there about. I think the boys are looking forward to that challenge. I don’t think we have to do a massive motivational pump with them, I think they will be up to this one no matter what I say,’ he concluded.

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