7 July 2019 – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said he was excited about the outcome of the AFCON last 16 match against the Pharaohs of Egypt which was decided by a solitary Thembinkosi Lorch 85th minute strike.
South Africa will now meet the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the quarter-finals of this tournament which has so far produced some thrilling and fluctuating outcomes.
As expected, the intense match lived up to its billing but South Africa who had been written off by many pundits, were more aggressive and could easily have added one or two more goals to the final tally.
Coach Baxter said he could not have asked for more from his players who fought for each throughout the 90 minutes.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the game. The players did very, very well. They had to play in a very brave way to press high against such as good team as Egypt. That was the only way we could win the game because if you allow them to build possession and pass the ball to their best players then we will have massive problems.
“So it took courage from the players and I thought they did very, very well and we controlled the game for better part of the night. I am very proud of the players and very pleased with the result,” said the Bafana Bafana coach.
“It was very important that the Egyptian team didn’t build momentum and get the full support of the crowd. The crowd I think during the game even though they were very, very vocal but they were a bit nervous because the game was an even game because Egypt were not rolling over us and that was one of the intentions we had. But I hope they will now support South Africa going forward if they want,” he said with a smile. “We would really love some support. The support the Egyptian team gets is incredible and should be proud.”
Baxter said the attacking football witnessed on Saturday was a result of correcting what the team didn’t do well in the past couple of games.
“From the first couple of games we were not 100 percent satisfied with our attacking play. Our movement around the box was not clear and we had to improve on that.
“Showing the movement we wanted to make was one, two, we knew the crowd was another aspect but the most important thing was playing a game that I don’t think Egypt expected us to play. They would have expected us to play deeper, and therefore we wanted to press higher and in that way try to surprise them with that game play. That surprised them and allowed us to have a foothold in the game,” he concluded.