We are preparing to steal three points from Bafana Bafana‚ says Libya coach

Bafana Bafana players being put through their paces during a training session at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on September 07, 2018.
Bafana Bafana players being put through their paces during a training session at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on September 07, 2018.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Libya coach Adel Amrouche has played down speculation his team will play defensively for a draw in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Bafana Bafana on Saturday.

The Libyans have spent the week preparing at altitude at the University of Johannesburg from Sunday‚ before travelling to Durban on Thursday and training at match venue Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

A lively‚ good-humoured character‚ Amrouche said Libya want to be part of an entertaining game.

It was hard to tell how much what he was saying was for the purpose of trying to sell counterpart Stuart Baxter a dummy.

"Everything is fine. We have prepared for the game like all the games‚" Amrouche‚ the former Kenyan coach who replaced Omar Al-Maryami in May‚ said.

"We know South Africa is a good team. I like how South African players play‚ with skills.

"We are playing in a beautiful stadium. We have to do something to make it nice for the public."

Put to Amrouche that Bafana have been preparing for a defensive Libya‚ likely to come out and play for a draw‚ the coach seemed eager - and perhaps a little too much so - to dispel the notion.

"Our one [previous] coach‚ he used to prepare the team for playing for a draw‚" Amrouche said.

"Every time the journalists ask me this question. But I think maybe this was before. Now this is a new Libyan team.

"I don't think a coach can prepare his team to play for one point. We have to prepare to steal three points.

"You play to win. Because if you play to come and lose‚ what is the point of that?"

Amrouche certainly is a hard character to pin down.

The Algerian-born‚ current Belgian national was asked about a two-match ban where he could not take his place on the bench in a two-legged defeat against Lesotho that cost Kenya a place at Afcon 2015‚ and Amrouche his job.

The coach has always denied the charge of spitting‚ from a previous qualifier.

"Before‚ this mafia in Caf‚ they banned me without reason. It was an injustice‚" he said.

"And we all know the story about these people in Caf. And I will never forget these people.

"Because I was in Kenya. I was unbeaten in Kenya. I did a great job.

"But sometimes when you have people like this mafia at Caf‚ you cannot do anything. They kill you for nothing."

Amrouche probably should be believed that Libya are here for the win. Given SA's starting 2-0 away win against Nigeria‚ Libya might even need a victory in Durban.

Their manner of doing it seems most likely to be an ultra-defensive‚ spoiling approach trying to frustrate Bafana‚ then looking for a chance to sneak a winner in the break.

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