Stuart Baxter. Pictures: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU
Stuart Baxter. Pictures: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter acknowledges that his team was on an arduous route to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification, with a daunting task against Nigeria now lying in wait.

Bafana could have all but guaranteed their spot at the tournament in Cameroon 2019, but failed to secure a victory over amateurs Seychelles as they played to a goalless draw on Tuesday.

SA are now in a difficult position in Group E, having been elbowed out of first place by Nigeria ahead of November’s crucial clash at FNB Stadium.

Baxter’s men face the Super Eagles on November 17, and, while a win would book a place at the finals next June, a defeat or draw could spell doom for the coach and his team.

Baxter attempted to look on the bright side after the team landed at OR Tambo International on Wednesday. "It’s the same Nigeria that we would have had to face had we won last night and would have still have had to do for a result. All it is, is more pressure," he said.

"The situation has not really changed, had we won last night we would still have to knock Nigeria over and get something over Libya."

But that is not necessarily true. A win on Tuesday would have left SA needing just a point from the next two games.

Now they need an outright win against the Eagles or Libya in 2019.

Baxter conceded he was seething after the draw.

"After the game I was frustrated and angry the way the game panned out.

"The players were very much deflated, I don’t want to say embarrassed because that would deride the effort they gave. But they know that the result was important for us and were down after the game."

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