By Mninawa Ntloko | TimesLive |
Bafana Bafana return to SA on Sunday afternoon after a defeat in Zambia on Saturday cost them qualification to the 2018 African Nations Championship.
The Zambians beat the hastily-assembled Bafana squad 2-0 in Ndola and ensured that the South Africans will not be one of the nations on the continent that will participate in the Kenya tournament in January next year. ‘
But it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be complaining at Safa House after the qualifiers for the Chan event‚ considered as the poor step sister of the more glamorous African Nations Cup‚ proved to be a massive headache for Bafana coach Stuart Baxter and his technical staff.
The event itself and its qualifiers are not played on dates designated by world governing body Fifa for international matches and this means clubs are not obligated to release their players.
Baxter and his technical were left pulling their hair in frustration and there were times when it seemed they wouldn’t have a starting 11 to send out on the pitch.
Baxter did not travel with the team to Ndola and his assistant Thabo Senong was in charge in Zambia.
“We had some good chances but if you do not convert your chance in these kinds of games‚ you will always get punished‚” Senong said.
“We lost a bit of concentration and we made a lot of mistakes in the wrong areas‚ especially in our own defensive third. That is where we got punished.”
The Bafana squad to face Cape Verde in 2018 World Cup qualifier next month will be announced on Monday and Baxter stayed behind in SA to finalise logistic for the more crucial encounter.