Victory in qualifier 'more important'

Stuart Baxter's first camp in his second Bafana Bafana spell may have ended in defeat, but he was not too disheartened by the team's performances, having given South African supporters reason to look forward to the future.

Bafana were beaten 2-1 by Zambia in an international friendly at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on Tuesday night, despite taking the lead through Lebogang Manyama.

Brian Mwila and Lubinda Mundia netted for the visitors.

Baxter changed his entire starting line-up, giving the senior players who beat Nigeria 2-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Uyo on Saturday a rest.

The victory in the qualifier was more important for Bafana, while the friendly gave coach Baxter an opportunity to see some of the players who are future stars of the national team, such as Abbubaker Mobara and Lorenzo Gordinho.

"I think the performance in Nigeria was marvellous. It was a marvellous achievement. It's Afcon and it's vital points," Baxter said.

"Tonight [against Zambia], I thought we played well for about an hour and then we switched off. Maybe because they scored, we became frustrated. We did not continue to do the things we have been speaking about.

"We switched off and they got two goals which were totally unnecessary. [But] we have to look at the whole camp as being a positive one."

Gordinho and Aubrey Ngoma were given their debuts by Baxter on Tuesday and the coach feels they did "well enough".

"I don't think they will be delighted with their debuts. I think Aubrey could have got in the game a bit more, especially playing forward. But it's a debut - it's nerves, it's hopes, it's dreams. You don't always have your best game in your debut. It's out of the way for both of them and they can now get on with their international careers," said Baxter.

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