Coach gets home fixture wish
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is likely to get his wish with the country’s next two home African Nations Cup qualifiers set for the FNB Stadium in Soweto.
Although an official announcement has not yet been made, it is understood the team’s next fixture‚ a home clash with Seychelles‚ is set to be staged on Saturday October 13 at the Soweto venue with a 3pm kickoff. The side then travel to the Stade Linite in Roche Caiman for the return on Tuesday October 16, in what is a vital double-header for Bafana’s chances of reaching the continental finals in Cameroon in June.
The team’s penultimate qualifier after that is home to Nigeria‚ with the match set for Saturday November 17 at 3pm‚ also at the FNB Stadium.
They then travel to a neutral north African country to face Libya in March 2019.
Baxter had bemoaned the fact that Saturday’s home clash with Libya‚ which ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw‚ had been taken to sea level in Durban‚ giving up the advantage of altitude that can play such a big role for visiting teams.
“The venue [Durban]‚ as a sea level venue for sea level people‚ I suppose you would want to take them to altitude‚” Baxter said last week.
“I was told that was impossible. I don’t want to go into the reasons and whys and wherefores.”
Bafana have played at either the FNB Stadium or the Orlando Stadium‚ both at the same altitude‚ just four times in the last four years and on each occasion‚ ended up victorious.
They beat Burkina Faso 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier at the FNB Stadium in October 2017‚ and edged Egypt‚ Senegal and Zambia, all 1-0 in Orlando. – TimesLIVE