Bafana, time to invoke the spirit of Uyo

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter dishing out instructions to his player.
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter dishing out instructions to his player.
Image: TWITTER/BAFANA BAFANA

On June 10 2017, Bafana Bafana went to Uyo in Nigeria and did what many pundits described as "unthinkable" when they beat the Super Eagles 2-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Indeed, the win was unexpected and historic as it was Bafana Bafana's first ever against Nigeria in a competitive clash, away nogal.

That was also Stuart Baxter's first match in charge of Bafana in his second stint with the national team.

Now Baxter and his charges face what many regard as Herculean task against Nigeria in the quarterfinal of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo tonight.

Is it a Herculean task for Bafana?

We believe not. If the match is seen as difficult for SA, it should also be the same for the Nigerians as we have equally capable players in the squad.

If the boys win tonight, we will not regard the triumph as a shock or an unthinkable feat, because of the players we have at our disposal.

Bafana can beat any team in the tournament if Baxter gets his tactics right, like he did against tournament favourites and hosts Egypt in front of an intimidating crowd at Cairo International Stadium on Saturday night.

The coach's game plan worked wonders as he deviated from his usual conservative approach and allowed the players to attack at will, yet in disciplined fashion.

We hope the win has served as a reminder to Baxter that you win games by attacking the opposition. You simply win matches by scoring goals, not by sitting back and defending. We were nearly eliminated in the group stages, thanks to his cautious approach.

Our boys should also believe in themselves that they can win the cup. They should believe in themselves that the only team that can stand in their way to repeat the feat of their predecessors in 1996 is Bafana themselves, not rivals.

They should replicate the attitude and mentality of 2017 in Uyo.

While we are all rallying behind Bafana, we should also embrace them if they lose. We should know that in football, like any other sport events, teams don't have a divine right to win. So, let's not crucify the players if they lose.

Again, we believe that all the players who will be selected for the match tonight will do the country proud like they did on Saturday.

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