Bafana let Seychelles off the hook
Baxter feels stalemate will force SA to dig deep in crucial Nigeria clash
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter acknowledges that his team missed the easier route and took a more arduous one to 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, with a daunting task against Nigeria now lying in wait.
Bafana could have all but guaranteed their spot at the tournament in Cameroon next year but failed to secure a victory over amateurs Seychelles as they played to a goalless draw on Tuesday.
SA are now in a difficult position in Group E, having been elbowed out of first place by Nigeria ahead of next month’s now crucial clash.
Baxter’s men will next face the Super Eagles on November 17, and, while a win would book a place at the finals next June, a defeat or draw could spell doom for the nation.
Baxter attempted to look on the brighter side after the team landed at OR Tambo International on Wednesday.
“It’s the same Nigeria that we would have had to face had we won last night and would have still have had to do for a result. All it is, is more pressure,” he said.
“The situation has not really changed, had we won last night we would still have to knock Nigeria over and get something over Libya.”
But that is not necessarily true. A win on Tuesday would have left SA needing just a point from the next two games.
Now they need an outright win against the Eagles or Libya next year.
Baxter conceded that he was seething after the draw.
“After the game I was frustrated and angry the way the game panned out. I met the Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr in London and he told me the pitch is the worst he has played on and I agree with him. But that is not an excuse because we still did enough to win the game.
“The players were very much deflated, I don’t want to say embarrassed because that would deride the effort they gave.”..