- Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said he would not change his policy of investing in young players despite suffering a shocking and humiliating loss to Madagascar
- Bafana suffered a 4-3 penalties shootout defeat to the island nation in the COSAFA Cup on Saturday
- Baxter said the main aim of the tournament was to provide young players with invaluable international experience
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter confirmed that he would not be changing his policy of investing in young players, this despite the team suffering a shock and somewhat humiliating defeat to Madagascar in the COSAFA Cup on Saturday.
South Africa suffered a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to Madagascar in the quarter-final of the COSAFA Cup in Polokwane on Saturday. This after the home side failed to convert multiple scoring opportunities during regular time and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Baxter said he still believed in the Bafana project and his current policy of giving young players as much international exposure as possible. Baxter said he felt Bafana were the better team for 90 minutes of the match, but conceded this counted for nought because the team could not find the back of the net.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Baxter said the goal of building towards the future of the team remained. He said while he would have preferred to play in the top flight of the competition the team would continue on without changing its approach.
“Obviously the international experience we want to give to this young team doesn’t change if the opponents are Madagascar or Namibia – it’s international experience that they need,” said Baxter.
KickOff.co.za reported that Baxter even found some positive aspects to losing on penalties. He noted that the young players would benefit from the experience of losing in such a fashion.
Baxter conceded that it was not a pleasant experience for the team as a whole to lose, but conceded that as long as lessons were learned the loss would have served a purpose.
He said: “You’ve got to keep believing in the things you’re doing and the policy you had going into the tournament. The reason we didn’t have the big-name players was because we wanted to invest international time into the younger players.”
Bafana will play Namibia in the plate semi-final on Tuesday.
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