Bafana Bafana made a losing start to their AFCON 2019 campaign when they fell 1-0 to Ivory Coast in blazing Al Salam Stadium, Cairo on Monday, 24 June.
A breakaway goal by Jonathan Kadjia in the 63rd minute, was the difference between the two well matched teams.
That makes Friday’s match against Namibia a must win, something coach Stuart Baxter admitted to
The match started at a tepid pace due to stifling heat but it was the West Africans who came close in the first half when Pepe’s 31st minute strike hit the cross bar.From the follow up, outstanding Ronwen Williams made a world class save in a one on one situation to deny Ivory Coast the opener.
There was little to shout about from both sides in the first half although captain Thulani Hlatshwayo had a good header from a corner going tantalisingly wide.
The tempo of the second half was almost similar to the first half but it was Ivory Coast who scored from a breakaway play that stretched the Bafana Bafana backline and left Williams stranded.
Ivory Coast sat back and relied more on counter attacks after the goal, something that frustrated South Africa.
The defeat makes the derby against Namibia a must win and Baxter said they would go for it.