21 July 2017 – Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has warned his charges to be careful when they face Botswana in the second leg of the 2018 CHAN qualifier, set for Saturday, 22 July 2017 at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West Province.
Kick off is at 15h00.
South Africa leads 2-0 from the first leg with goals from Ryan Moon and Gift Motupa in Francistown.
But Baxter is well aware that the visitors will not be a walkover.
“Just go back in time and say Botswana has never been an easy opponent, no matter what level we played. In COSAFA we beat them and we also beat them now in the CHAN, and we did so because we played quite well in two games, but this won’t be an easy game. We are rotating our squad, we are playing in a different way, the players are going to be challenged and if we don’t get our attitude right we could tread on a landmine,” said Baxter.
The Bafana Bafana mentor adds that Botswana will not hold back as they will be chasing the game from the onset.
“I think it’s worth challenging the players in a game where the result is not a foregone conclusion. We are not playing against a team that has no players or a poor coach – we are playing against a team that probably has nothing to lose. My father used to say to me, beware the man who has nothing to lose,” added Baxter.
“We are going to have to get our game right. Botswana played one game against us where they were very physical, bordering on brutal, and they played the next game against us where they were very tactical. They wanted to keep the ball for long periods and really wanted to play – we had answers in both games, so I am hoping we have an answer in this one as well.”
Captain, Mario Booysen, who featured in both recent matches against Botswana, echoed his words.
“The way the boys applied themselves in Botswana, the attitude was right. Now coming to this game again it’s all about the attitude, we really want to do well and go through to the next round. The confidence is very high among the players in camp, we must just go out there and stick to our game plan again. Most of the boys are looking forward to the game, and we want to see if we can’t proceed to the next round and even go on to qualify for the tournament,” said Booysen.
The winner between South Africa and Botswana will face the victors in the clash between Zambia and Swaziland in the third and final round.
The Zambians have taken a 4-0 lead from the first leg.
The third round tie will be played in August.