Baxter blames poor finishing for Cosafa exit

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July 4, 2017
Baxter blames poor finishing for Cosafa exit

BITTERBEK: Stuart Baxter

Just put the ball in the back of the net.

That was the message Stuart Baxter gave his young Bafana Bafana side after they crashed out of the Cosafa Cup at the first hurdle on Sunday night.

Baxter wanted to use the tournament as a development exercise for players he believes have the potential to improve for the national team in the future.

But the decision backfired as South Africa’s southern African title was ripped away in a 1-0 defeat to Tanzania in Phokeng.

The boss started the quarterfinal match with eight debutants and brought on three more.

And while chances were created by the likes of Stellenbosch FC’s Jamie Webber and Orlando Pirates winger Riyaad Norodien, Bafana couldn’t score.

The former Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United boss says: “The result was very disappointing. I think the game was a poor game, there wasn’t really a lot of quality shown by either of the sides.”

Cape Town City striker Judas Moseamedi had a goal wrongfully chalked off for offside just before the Taifa Stars scored from an almost identical situation.

But South Africa’s attack was too focused on targetman Moseamedi in the first half.

After the break the best chances fell to leftback Lorenzo Gordinho, who failed to score twice when in the box.

The boss adds: “We had a few chances, we built up a little pressure in the second half, we failed to take them and then panic sets in and it was a very disappointing evening for everybody.”

“It’s just poor finishing, panic sets in a little bit.

“I don’t need to go to the video to see the missed chances, I think that it’s just the question of on the evening when you get the chance, take it, it eases the pressure and then you can play a bit more.”

Baxter will be hoping his kids grow up a little and find more confidence in front of goal ahead of today’s plate semifinal against Botswana (5pm).

Perhaps he will be closer to the action after spending the first half of the match up in the stands.

The Brit explains: “There’s a lot of players I’m unfamiliar with and I wanted to get a better angle.

“We talked about this being a development [competition], and Thabo [Senong] also had the option to sit up there and call the shots a bit, so that was basically it.

“But I wanted to see a bit better and see how the game was developing.”

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