Baxter: Libya 'will be knife at the throat' game
Posted: 19 November 2018 Time: 10:30
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is relishing the challenge of facing Libya under ominous conditions given their gutsy display against Nigeria on Saturday.
Bafana were perhaps fortunate to earn a point at home to the Super Eagles in their penultimate Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, after two goals were wrongfully disallowed for off-side.
Nevertheless, the result was enough for the West Africans to qualify for their first continental finals since being crowned champions in the 2013 edition held in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Bafana are left with a do-or-die game in March next year to book their AFCON spot as Group E runners-up away to third-placed Libya, who are two points adrift.
Having shown the sort of inconsistency synonymous with South African sides, with a depressing draw at home to Libya in September and then a devastating stalemate away to whipping boys Seychelles last month, the big question now is how will Baxter's men get a win away to the Mediterranean Knights?
“The same way we went to Nigeria and got a victory,” responded the Brit.
“I think if we have a clear game plan, we’ve got to be brave and we’ve got to go and do the job.
“I think the players have shown [they can do that] in every other game, apart from the Seychelles game away – which you heard the Nigeria coach say, the pitch was an anomaly.
“It’s a shame that we can’t talk about, ‘Do we think we’re going to win that game against Libya based on the fact that, I thought, the boys played some excellent football today [Saturday]?’
“And I think we’re refining what we’re actually good at. If we can keep on doing that then I don’t think there’s any reason we shouldn’t be looking forward to the game.
“It’ll be a knife at the throat job, but I mean that’s the games that you want to play. I think [the Nigeria] game was [cutting-edge] and we stood up well, and I think the players should have an enormous pat on the back for that.
“At the same time, we’re well aware of the minefield we’ll be going into if we go to Libya, but I hope we deal with that – I’m certainly looking forward to it.”