Bafana look to gold plate let-down

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MO­HAU RA­MASHIDJA

THABO SENONG will lead Bafana Bafana in to­mor­row’s Cosafa Cup Plate fi­nal against Namibia at Moru­leng Sta­dium (kick-off 7pm), af­ter Stu­art Bax­ter was given march­ing or­ders in their 2-0 vic­tory over Botswana on Tues­day.

Bax­ter was given a straight red card af­ter he ap­par­ently swore in his ap­peal to the fourth match of­fi­cial in an ef­fort to al­low his team doc­tor onto the pitch, as one of his play­ers re­mained flat on the ground fol­low­ing a head in­jury.

Bax­ter, af­ter­wards, said that he could have re­acted much bet­ter to­wards the of­fi­cial, who seemed to re­act non­non­cha­lantly to the in­jury on the pitch.

Senong, who has been serv­ing as Bax­ter’s as­sis­tant through­out this tour­na­ment, will hope to lead Bafana to vic­tory in a fi­nal that serves as a con­so­la­tion prize af­ter the se­nior na­tional side failed to de­fend their Cosafa Cup ti­tle by los­ing 1-0 to Tan­za­nia in the quar­ter-fi­nal matchup.

Mean­while, Or­lando Pi­rates mid­fielder, Riyaad Noro­dien ex­pressed his ela­tion at reach­ing the Plate fi­nal, adding that a fur­ther good per­for­mance might see some of the play­ers who par­tic­i­pated in this tour­na­ment, get­ting na­tional call-ups in more im­por­tant Bafana fixtures, such as the 2018 Fifa World Cup and 2019 Af­con qual­i­fiers.

“We just need to con­tinue work­ing hard and keep rais­ing our hands in each and ev­ery op­por­tu­nity we get,” said the 22-year old mid­fielder who scored the opener in that 2-0 vic­tory over the Ze­bras. “We want to be called-up in (more im­por­tant) Bafana fixtures but what’s key for each and ev­ery one of us is to make sure we main­tain the hunger and the de­sire to play for the se­nior na­tional team so the coach can (con­sider them in the fu­ture).”

“It’s al­ways go­ing to be tough, whether you are play­ing in a friendly or a com­pet­i­tive match (for the se­nior na­tional team),” Noro­dien added. “We just have to come with our think­ing caps on and do what the coach ex­pects of us on the day and push for the re­sult. If we do that, I truly believe that we can dis­man­tle teams quite eas­ily, like we did in our match against Botswana.

“We cre­ated sev­eral scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and could have scored more, if only we could have had a lit­tle more com­po­sure in front of goal.”

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