CAPE TOWN – South African coach Stuart Baxter hailed his players’ performance after they eliminated hosts Egypt from the Africa Cup of Nations in the last 16 to shake up the tournament, calling it a tactical masterclass.
“We say sometimes that African players cannot be tactically smart, that northern Africans are usually so much better than the southern Africans, but I think the players they showed a masterclass. It was excellent,” said Baxter after Saturday's 1-0 win.
“I think they had to play in a very brave way, to press high against such a good team as is Egypt, but for me that was the only way we could win the game because if you allow them to build possession and get the ball in to their best players, then we would have massive problems."
South Africa snatched victory with an 85th-minute goal from Thembinkosi Lorch at the end of a rapid counter-attack.
“It was difficult for the front players because, at the same time as we asked them to press, they had to also try to screen the through passes into the midfield players and strikers," Baxter said.