Bafana are ready to thrash Seychelles
Another win will boost chances of Baxter’s team of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations
Why fix something that is not broken? This is probably the message ringing in Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s ears as he faces Seychelles for the second time in four days.
Baxter’s team recorded a 6-0 win on home soil at FNB
Stadium at the weekend and qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be clearly in sight if they can notch up
another win in Victoria on Tuesday (kick-off 3.30pm SA time).
It is on this small island of fewer than 100,000 people where Bafana are expected to continue their beating of the hapless Seychelles, ranked 189th in world football, compared with 73rd for the visitors.
Baxter did not show his hand in terms of his starting XI at training and later guided his charges behind closed doors.
He has to pick a team that can continue from where it left off
One of the standout performers in that match was Lebohang Maboe, the Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder who was so impressive one would think he is a seasoned international footballer, yet he is new in national colours.
"Going into the game, I told myself that I had to give my all," said Maboe.
He created two chances in the rout of the islanders.
Baxter will be hoping for a repeat performance from everyone in the squad.
Looking relaxed on Monday before training, Bafana had flown for five hours with a direct trip to Victoria, the Seychelles capital, on Sunday and were booked at the swish Savoy hotel where rooms go for R5,200 a night, at a discounted rate.
On the field, Bafana will have to contend with an artificial turf in a stadium that holds 10,000, but locals warned that attracting even 25% of that figure would
Football in this part of the world is not big. In fact, fans of the game can be seen wearing the kits of overseas clubs.
The Seychelles’ national team does not even enjoy a police escort and the players were seen arriving for a training session one at a time in their own transport.
Seychelles are there for the taking once again and Bafana appear ready to deliver one more devastating punch.
Meanwhile, Baxter has defended Percy Tau after the Belgium-based striker was heckled by supporters at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The coach said that Tau’s commitment to the cause cannot be questioned.
"I don’t think Percy was complacent‚" said Baxter. "He was disappointed with himself for the chances that he missed.
"I thought Lebo [Mothiba] led the line well.
"He was bullying their centrebacks and making nice runs behind them. They never had a moment of peace.
"Lebo worked well with Percy. He was a little bit deep and more difficult to pick up. So I was pleased with Lebo and I was pleased with the way he combined with Percy."
Additional reporting by Sazi Hadebe