NDOLA, Zambia, March 22 (ANA) – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will send a completely different team to play hosts Zambia in Saturday’s Four Nations final at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia.
South Africa only just managed to reach the final after edging Angola 6-5 on penalties in Wednesday’s match.
“The team I’ll be picking in the final will be a completely different team, it will be 11 different players. We need this game and we’ll do everything we can to win,” said Baxter.
“The boys showed character against a very stubborn Angola side. We started off a bit slow in the opening minutes and they really came at us. We eventually gained control of the game with the younger players gaining more confidence.
“The opening goal was a bit unfortunate but I am glad we recuperated and found the equaliser. It was a great performance and we are looking forward to the final on Saturday,” said Baxter.
“I thought in the first 10-15 minutes it was noticeable that the youngsters were nervous. I think all of them made simple mistakes. I thought Angola moved the ball better – their passing was better, and then I thought we, especially the younger players, settled down and they equipped themselves very nicely.
“We then had a very good period around 20-25 minutes. The goal [conceded] was unfortunate; the player took it very well.
“I thought we played better in the second half, we controlled the ball better, and then penalties are penalties, it could have gone either way but I’m very happy to go through [to the final].
“I think it was a difficult opponent and for the youngsters it was a big game, so I think they did quite well.”
Angola were quick to get off their starting blocks putting Bafana under tremendous pressure in the opening minutes of the game but didn’t do much to trouble the SA defence.
Bidvest Wits keeper, Darren Keet was called to action as early as the seventh minute after a stinging shot by Djalma Campos made its way through a crowd of players but found Keet on high alert.
Minutes later, South African eventually found their rhythm and got into their usual passing game with Bongani Zungu and Maphosa Modiba pulling the strings in the middle of the park. From then on it was South Africa who raided the Angolan defence with Phakamani Mahlambi being a thorn in their defence.
A lapse of concentration in the 31st minute resulted in South Africa being punished by Campos following a casual pass by Buhle Mkhwanazi.
However, Baxter’s men came out firing in the second stanza and quickly levelled matters through debutant, Lebogang Mothiba with a cheeky back heel following a good run from Mahlambi.
Eventually though it ended all square with Bafana managing to edge out Angola in the penalty shootout.