Bafana Bafana will know who they will face in the group stages of the Caf Africa Cup of Nations tonight and coach Stuart Baxter has revealed that he is not worried that they might be drawn against the continent’s big guns in the tournament’s opening stage.
Due to their poor ranking, Baxter’s team will be on Pot 3 and will be grouped with at least one of Africa’s powerhouses between Ghana, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal or the host nation Egypt who are in Pot 1.
Along with Bafana on Pot 3 are Southern Africa neighbours Angola and Zimbabwe, while nations such as Nigeria, Algeria and Morocco, are in the second Pot and could also end up in the same group with Bafana.
However, having played East African side Senegal in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers where they lost both legs 2-1 and 2-0, and going on to beat Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo in the Afcon qualifiers before playing to a 1-1 draw in Soweto in the Afcon, Baxter says Bafana are ready for any team.
“I don’t think we should be worried about the draw because we’ve actually played Nigeria and they are probably top of the rank and we played Senegal in the World Cup qualifiers and we had two very tight games with them,” said Baxter.
“It is difficult to know because for us the difficult games have been against the minnows…with all due respect. I think that the experience in Tunisia against Libya was great for us and whoever we get we need to try and impose ourselves and strengthen our identity and personality as a team and stand up for things we believe in,” he added.
Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams is singing from the same hymn book as his coach, insisting that they should focus on improving their game.
“We have shown that we can compete because we have beaten Nigeria and took four points off them. Whoever we get is going to be tough because all of the teams who are there deserve it because they were good in their respective groups. I think we should not focus much on other teams but focus on ourselves because we are still a work in progress and we shouldn’t jump the gun.”