JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says if they reproduce the same approach and mentality in the Fifa World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Friday the way they displayed against Nigeria recently, there is no reason why South Africa cannot come back with a positive result on Friday.
Bafana take on Cape Verde on Friday evening before meeting the same side at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 5 in which, if they manage to garner all six points, will put them in a commanding position for a place in Russia next year.
“On paper, we are supposed to beat Cape Verde easily, but I will be honest with you, this match won’t be that easy. I, however, believe if we have the right approach, we should come back with all three points,” said Baxter.
The Bafana coach – who announced that Supersport United defender Clayton Daniels had replaced injured Rivaldo Coetzee – said he had gone for the tough-tackling Daniels because the imposing defender was strong and experienced.
“I went for Daniels because I wanted someone who would hit the ground running. We are going to Cape Verde not to experiment, but for a result. We need two good results in these two games, and that is of paramount importance,” insisted Baxter.
The coach said the Islanders had nothing to lose in the two games apart from spoiling the party.
“They have absolutely nothing to lose, but that is a side that can cause a lot of harm; they can be dangerous because they will play with freedom.
“But I honestly believe if we put all in this game, we should win.”
Bafana will have three training sessions in Cape Verde, and Baxter said although the surface in the Atlantic Ocean Island was not the best of surfaces; the most important thing was for the players to gel quickly.
Baxter said midfielder Thulani Serero was said to be carrying a hamstring injury by his Dutch club SBV Vitesse, but the Bafana medical team needed to assess him first to see the extent of that injury.
“If the injury needs a few days’ rest, he will miss the away game and will then most probably play in the second one in Durban. That is a call we have to make,” he said.
Meanwhile, defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele said Bafana were in a very good position to qualify for Russia 2018, and must take complete control of their destiny by winning the two games against Cape Verde.
“We need to consolidate our position by winning the two matches. It has been a long time since South Africa last qualified for the Fifa World Cup, and this is one good opportunity we shouldn’t throw away,” said the defender.
African News Agency (ANA)