Now that they’ve captured the imagination of the nation, it’s time for Bafana Bafana to put their foot on the accelerator.
South Africa stunned Afcon hosts Egypt to set up Wednesday’s 9pm quarterfinal against Nigeria in Cairo.
And Stuart Baxter’s manne can expect as tough a contest as they have had all tournament, having lost to Ivory Coast and Morocco and beating Namibia by the odd goal.
In those games, Bafana looked mediocre but they can ill-afford to drop the standards they set against Mo Salah and the Pharaohs.
Bafana’s attack finally came good against Egypt, but they were far from parting their opponents’ defence like the Red Sea.
Until Thembinkosi Lorch put the ball into the back of the net five minutes from time, Bafana should have been punished for their wastefulness.
Yes, Bafana did shoot when they had a sight at goal, but they only created a single one-on-one with the goalkeeper before Lorch’s opener.
Bafana Bafana getting ready for the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday.— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) July 8, 2019
Kick off 21h00 pic.twitter.com/kGIg0nrl4d
More chances at goal ups the chances of a goal and this is what Bafana have to work on.
This will be trickier against a Nigeria side with a more solid midfield, where Wilfred Ndidi and Jon Obi Mikel operate
Baxter will have to make the right decision about how to gain the ascendancy in the centre of the park and be wary of losing momentum by flooding the midfield area with bodies.
Once again, pace in the wide channels will be vital and that means starting both Percy Tau and Lorch is a must.
These manne will have to get behind the Nigerian defence as often as possible to create chances for Lebo Mothiba and late support runners if SA are to win.