Bafana Bafana’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt is in the balance following their 1-0 defeat by Morocco. JOHN GOLIATH looks at four talking points from the match.
Bafana Bafana, why always the hard way?
There’s always seems to be drama when it comes to Bafana Bafana, either qualifying for a tournament or progressing to the next round of an event. They essentially walk around with calculators and frantically work out if they had actually qualified after messing things up when they had their destiny in their own hands. Monday was no different, and now the team nervously await results to go their way on Tuesday to qualify for the round of 16 at Afcon 2019.
Bafana needed an outlet up front …
Coach Stuart Baxter gambled on a defensive approach to try and to a point for a draw or to even sneak a sucker-punch win on the counter against Morocco. However, while Bafana defended bravely for 88 minutes, they just didn’t have the outlet up front to release some of the Moroccan pressure. Again, the movement was poor in the final third, as Lebogang Mothiba failed to make decent runs or even hold the ball up for his midfielders to run off him.
Too many touches spoil the broth …
Morocco just looked so much sharper than Bafana on the day. Every time South Africa tried to play out from the back, their opponents were on them in a flash. The midfielders, in particular, took too many touches trying to find the open man and they were easily closed down and many balls were intercepted. But this also had to do with the limited runs into space by the front men.
Bafana’s wing backs not providing any width …
Bafana again played too narrow. Their wide defenders hardly crossed the halfway line on attack, which meant that the midfield was quite congested. Baxter doesn’t play with any wingers, so the onus should be on the wing backs to play on the overlap to try to stretch the opposition defenders and keep their dangerous wingers occupied. Instead, Morocco could play a high line on defence, because no Bafana player made a run into a wide area.
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