Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has admitted to his side’s shortfalls in the loss to Ivory Coast and he has hinted that changes in the next group fixture against Namibia on Friday were likely.
South Africa had a shaky start to their Africa Cup of Nations campaign, going down 1-0 to The Elephants in a searing heat in Salam City on Monday.
“We may need fresh legs and change the shape slightly,” hinted Baxter shortly after the game at Al Salam Stadium.
“We need to be technically smart against Namibia.
If either team loses that game, it’s going to be a goodbye. We know the importance of the game.”
Baxter cited poor decision-making, as well as allowing the Ivorians to execute their plan of moving the ball around, as South Africa’s downfall when they got punished by Jonathan Kodjia just after the hour-mark.
The lanky Aston Villa striker was let free after Bafana lost possession from their own transition.
“We made a poor decision to press the ball and opened up the penalty area [and] because of lack of strikes, we can’t complain losing the game,” conceded Baxter.
He also lauded goalkeeper Ronwen Williams for keeping Bafana in the game and they were also saved by the crossbar.
“We were quite poor [when it came to transmitting] the ball from the back to the front. We’re going to both games against Namibia and Morocco looking to take points.”
Even Bafana star player Percy Tau admitted that he was not up to scratch but he promised a better showing against the The Brave Warriors of Namibia on Friday.
“This was our first match [and] the second match will see a lot of improvement from us and myself. We are excited to play against Namibia. We have to beat them,” vowed Belgium-based Tau.
The match at Al Salam Stadium will kick off at 10pm, while Morocco and Ivory Coast will face off at the same venue in an early start of 7pm.