Baxter refuses to blame Bafana Bafana players after poor AFCON display

by FariedaJuly 3, 2019

Bafana Bafana have been all but knocked out of the competition, but Stuart Baxter believes the poor performances have nothing to do with the players.

Head coach Stuart Baxter defended his players after another poor showing at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat to Morocco.

Poor showing

The result means South Africa’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition are pretty slim.

Of their three group matches Bafana only managed to beat Nambia, while losing to both the Ivory Coast and Namibia. All three of the matches ended 1-0.

The only hope they have of making the knockout rounds is by finishing as one of the top third-place finishers and for that to happen they need Cameroon to beat Benin, Ghana to beat Guinea-Bissau, Mali to beat Angola and Mali to beat Mauritania.

We said it was a long shot.

Bafana Bafana’s performance has been universally panned by local fans and commentators.

Former star player Steven Pienaar took to social media platform Twitter to voice his frustration after the game against Morocco.

Baxter defends Bafana players

Pienaar’s sentiments at least echo that of Baxter himself that it was not the players to blame. However, the coach will probably take issue with the insinuation that he was tactically poor.

“I think the players played well in terms of their distances, in terms of their pressing and defending process,” Baxter said.

“We also had situations, but we could have played better in the last third. There are many ways to win a football game, but losing in the last 30 seconds of the game from a set play, I think it is a disappointing way to lose a game.

“I don’t think it is the time for me to question players, it is time to accept that this is the result we didn’t want.

“I think the players were disciplined and it is unfortunate that we conceded a goal in the very last minute.”

Unfortunately for Baxter, if it isn’t the players to blame then there is only really one other person that can take the heat for Bafana Bafana’s poor performance.

Source: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/soccer/baxter-refuses-to-blame-bafana-bafana-players-after-poor-afcon-display/

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