Percy Tau of South Africa (second right) celebrates goal with Bongani Zungu of South Africa during the 2018 World Cup qualifier football match between South Africa and Burkina Faso at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 07 October 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Sunday Oct 08, 2017. 10:00
South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter says his players can be proud following their performance against Burkina Faso on Saturday afternoon.
Bafana Bafana secured a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
"With the knife at the throat, the players gave a magnificent performance. It's not easy, people have given them a lot of criticism, some warranted, some over the top," Baxter told the media after the match.
"I think that performance in that situation speaks volumes for South African football. I think we got a nice balance between defending doggedly and expressing yourself in the last third, especially when movement, pace and trickery was bamboozling them."
Goals from Percy Tau, Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi inspired Bafana to victory over the Stallions, who grabbed a consolation goal through Alain Traore.
"We certainly don't want showboating. We want our skill, our technique, our ideas to hurt our opponent," the British tactician added.
"A couple of times late on in the game, we didn't manage the game very well because we tried that and we were down to 10 men, and it's about keeping the ball and not risking it, but that's okay, we'll learn from that.
"In terms of expressing yourself, it's putting yourself into a mental frame of mind that you want to play and they wanted to play," he continued.
"They were thinking about what they were doing on the field and not thinking about stuff that is being written or the next two games, it was here and now, and I just felt it in the dressing room that the game-plan was simple and clear. The lads did their best, not always perfect and the total performance, I don't say this very often but South Africa can be proud."