Stuart Baxter downplays Bafana win over Namibia in COSAFA Cup, points to development
Posted: 6 June 2018 Time: 14:00
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says winning is not the sole purpose when grouping youngsters together for the senior national team.
Bafana were recently eliminated in the COSAFA Cup quarterfinals with a shock defeat to Madagascar, and subsequently dropped into the plate section of the tournament.
In the plate semi-final, a similar team – barring three changes – managed to pull off a comfortable 4-1 victory over Namibia as they put out a much-improved showing on Tuesday evening.
While critics were out in full force following the penalty shootout defeat to Barea, Bafana were able to draw praise for their efforts against the Brave Warriors.
Baxter, though, has urged fans not to get carried away by the victory, but rather by the kind of performance put out by his young charges, whose purpose is to gain senior international experience.
“I just want to reiterate that the strategy before the game was that. And I spoke to some of the people at the FA [SAFA] and told them when we decide to take a younger team to the Four Nations in Zambia, give nine debuts and win the tournament. Let’s not take all the pats on the back because we won the tournament but because we made that decision,” said Baxter.
“Now, I would say the same thing. This was a good game for us [against Namibia] because young players got international experience against a good team, and they came out and did a good job – I think that’s the biggest positive.”
Bafana will next face Botswana in the plate final on Friday evening at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. Kick-off is set for 17h00.