Baxter wary of Bafana, Zambia stalemate in EL

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter said it will be mission impossible to compete in the return leg of the Chan qualifiers against Zambia in Lusaka.

EYE ON THE BALL: Bafana Bafana’s Jabulani Shongwe, left, battles for the ball with Zambia’s Enerst Mbewe. Picture: SINO MAJANGAZA

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach told journalists after Bafana’s 2-2 draw stalemate at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London over the weekend his job was going to be even more difficult when they visit Chipolopolo at home.

The Briton said they will lose eight players when they play their next game as more Premier Soccer League clubs are due to withdraw more players from the squad as they prepare for the new season.

“Tercious [Malepe] can’t play because he has a red card and Sbu [Kumalo] can’t play because he’s got an injury.

“Its going to be mission impossible again, as it was mission impossible here today, so the players that are going to stay will have to do the job for us.

“They played well and they played disciplined and they made the most of what they have got. At 2-0 I couldn’t see a way back for Zambia because they weren’t creating chances.”

Baxter said the 2-2 score came a little bit out of the blue.

“I was thinking shall I change or shall I lock up, then Tercious [Malepe] got himself sent away so I can’t lock I’ve got to go 4-4-1. To rearrange and readjust the 10 men in the last minutes, you get bombarded.”

The tactician thought his side threw the game away and that they were also unlucky

“Even two weeks couldn’t probably have stopped that [result] if that was going to happen. It’s more like fate. I think our general play could have been better but I think the boys did it as well as anybody could expect.

Baxter said Gift Motupa was outstanding and also had good things to say about the young ones as well – including Wiseman Meyiwa who replaced Kumalo after the Mamelodi Sundowns player got injured.

“I think the lads did well and they should get a pat on the back for that. They should lick their wounds, sharpen their swords and fasten their seatbelts then go to Zambia and get a result. That is not impossible.”

Meanwhile, Zambian head coach Wedson Nyirenda said they are as good as one leg in to qualifying for the Chan after getting the draw which he said, was not an easy task.

“We need to go and concentrate. We will be cautious in the next game because they [Bafana Bafana] will also come like we did here today, so we need some goals at home and that’s it.’’

Nyirenda said Bafana gave Chipolopolo a good run for their money but the adjustments they made in the second half made a very big impact on the game’s final result.

“They [Bafana] came prepared and looked good. I liked how they play. I liked their structures and shots, they were playing good football and they were comfortable with the ball.

“I think we conceded very silly goals which was not supposed to be the case and after conceding those two goals I think in the second half we came back with fire.

“After the second half we saw that this game was easy and we could take it. We just needed to be more comfortable on the ball and do what we needed which is to put the ball behind the defence and try to run with it.”

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