Stuart Baxter
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter/Photo: AFP

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter said his team’s high pressing game opened up more spaces for Nigeria to score the winning goal against them on Wednesday.

Concise News had reported that defender William Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the winner in the 89th minute of the clash after Samuel Chukwueze’s opener was cancelled out in the 71st minute.

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Speaking after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 clash in Cairo, Egypt, a disappointed Baxter admitted that his side were unlucky against the Nigerians.

According to him, the Bafana Bafana did not start off the game well but came back stronger in the second half.

He described Nigeria’s second goal which was due to his team’s pressing game as painful.

Baxter noted that in the second half, his boys were a lot mobile and caused issues for the Nigerian defence but could not take their chances.

“It’s difficult when you’ve lost in the dying minutes, it’s difficult to find positives. I’m sure that in one week’s time I will find some positives. At this moment I’m finding it very difficult,” Baxter said.

“I thought in the first half we weren’t brave enough to get on the ball in tight spaces and to press higher.

“In the second half, we tried to do that better and we managed to get a more mobile possession which gave Nigeria more problems, but we still couldn’t find that last strike on goal to get there.

“Nigeria were always dangerous. They were really well organised, they had good players.
“But congrats to Gernot [Rohr] and his team, I’m sure they’ll be one of the teams fighting for the trophy at the end.”