CAPE TOWN – Bafana Bafana may have cruised to a 6-0 walloping of Seychelles at the weekend, but coach Stuart Baxter has already said it won’t be as easy in today’s return leg at the Stade Linité.
The Indian Ocean islanders actually kept Bafana at bay initially at the FNB Stadium, and it was their own player, Nigel Nigel, who broke the deadlock with an own goal in the 23rd minute.
That broke the dam wall, and it was 3-0 after 27 minutes after captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and striker Lebo Mothiba scored.
But let’s take a look at what Bafana must get right in Victoria today (3.30pm SA time kickoff)…
1 Help Itumeleng Khune keep a clean-sheet
It’s a big day for Bafana Bafana’s star goalkeeper, as Khune will become the second-most capped international for South Africa on 90 games. He will go past Siphiwe Tshabalala on 89, and still trails Aaron Mokoena on 107.
But not conceding a goal shouldn’t be too difficult for Khune and his defence today.
2 Keep the width on attack
It was concerning to see Aubrey Modiba being left out of the starting line-up by Baxter today, with Dino Ndlovu brought into the team.
Modiba did a sterling job of providing crosses, along with Sifiso Hlanti, down the left-hand side at the FNB Stadium.
With a big man like Lebo Mothiba upfront, Bafana must keep the width on attack.
3 Percy Tau must be more ruthless in front of goal
The former Sundowns star struck the crossbar with a free kick early on in Saturday’s game, but then it became a frustrating afternoon as he missed chance after chance.
It even led to the sparse crowd at the FNB Stadium calling for him to be substituted, but Baxter kept the faith, and Tau got his goal in the last quarter.
Tau needs to bury his chances against such a mediocre team.
4 Boost the goal difference
Yes, 6-0 was a record win for Bafana, but it could’ve and should’ve been so much more against these part-timers.
Bafana need to produce a similar score-line today, as the confidence gained from finding the back of the net will stand them in good stead going forward.
5 Don’t get injured on the synthetic pitch
The last thing the South Africans need is to get hurt on the synthetic pitch at the Stade Linité, especially against such weak opposition.
A few minutes to kick off, still very few spectators in the stadium. pic.twitter.com/XLfwAu1EN3