After a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Libya last time out, Bafana Bafana will face off against minnows Seychelles where there will be no excuses for failure to pick up 6 points over the double-header, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
Bafana got their African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification off to the perfect start after recording a famous 2-0 victory over West African giants Nigeria in Uyo last year. The victory placed Bafana in the ideal position to kick on and ensure qualification.
Months later, after coach Stuart Baxter had tried put several players in the Four Nations Cup and Cosafa Cup, the squad reassembled to face the national team of the war-torn country Libya.
With a victory expected by the majority, Baxter’s men failed to deliver and had to settle for a point after the 0-0 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
The national team will now do battle against Seychelles in a double-header with the first game taking place on Saturday at the FNB Stadium, before they travel to the island on Tuesday.
Bafana, who currently sit second in the group behind Libya on goal difference with both teams on four points while Nigeria are one spot back on three points, will be hoping to pick up six points and take control of the group with the Super Eagle and The Mediterranean Knights hopefully taking points off each other in their two encounters.
The Seychelles lost their opening fixture 5-0 to Libya and the second 3-0 to Nigeria and although six points from the two fixtures looks rather straightforward for Bafana, local fans know that it is never that simple.
We only have to look back to September year where Bafana suffered two shock 2-1 losses in their double header to minnows Cape Verde which all but ended their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
Bafana have infamously let slip against the so-called smaller nations to detrimental effect over the last few years, an issue which continuously holds the squad back form achieving their full potential.
Speaking at his squad announcement Baxter admitted that his side has had difficulties in dealing with the smaller nations.
‘The truth is we have had issues against teams like this and we need to address these issues and put them right. We need to get six points from the two games [against Seychelles], so we got to show steel and professionalism and if we do that we will take the six points, if we don’t there are banana skins out there everywhere.’
So Stuart are the results against the minnows down to the players attitude and professionalism? If so, sort it out because if Bafana are to reach the heights of the past, there can be no more excuses.
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