Stuart Baxter focusing on COSAFA Cup with South Africa

Stuart Baxter focusing on COSAFA Cup with South Africa
Stuart Baxter

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 16, 2017. 15:00

Following his first two matches as the new national team coach for South Africa, Stuart Baxter says he is now shifting his focus to the upcoming COSAFA Cup.

The 2016 COSAFA champions are set to host this year's edition in the North West province in Rustenburg from 25 June until 9 July.

Despite bagging a crucial 2-0 win over Nigeria in a 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday, the South Africans lost 2-1 to Zambia in a friendly this past Tuesday.

Baxter has said that he would be using the bulk of the SA Under-20 squad that played in the 2017 FIFA World Youth Cup in South Korea for the regional showpiece.

“We want to win every game. But the loss to Zambia is not a train smash. I changed the entire side from the XI that started against Nigeria, as friendlies are for development,” said Baxter to the media.

“I’m a lot wiser after the first week in camp and the fact that I was able to give all 25 players game-time during the two matches was a goal we achieved. It gave me a chance to look at everyone in camp.

“I will try and get some experienced overseas based players to balance the squad. But as this is an off-season tournament it won’t be easy. At the same time I don’t want to give away Bafana caps.”

Bafana are set to play their first match against the Group A winners on 2 July. Group A consists of Tanzania, Malawi and Mauritius.

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