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Bafana Bafana was 'magnificent,' says Baxter after Afcon qualification

The second half was filled with action as Percy Tau opened the scoring after 50 minutes with a beautiful shot from outside the box.

Bafana Banafa players celebrate after qualifying for the Afcon 2019. Picture: @BafanaBafana/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter praised his group of players after they beat Libya 2-1 in their 2019 African Cup of Nations Group E qualifier.

Bafana finished second in their group - a point behind Nigeria. They were unbeaten throughout the qualifying stage conceding only two goals.

Baxter’s men, needing only a draw, set up quite conservatively with five defenders in the starting XI. The first half ended goalless which was indicative of the type of attritional battle the 45 minutes was about.

With a partisan crowd in Sfax, Baxter said the team had to first get to grips with their challenging and hostile environment.

“I think the first 30 minutes, with the crowd at their backs and a bit of nerves and anxiety on our part. We gave them a couple of balls that they shouldn't really have gotten and they nearly got in. After that I think the players were magnificent.”

The second half was filled with action as Percy Tau opened the scoring after 50 minutes with a beautiful shot from outside the box.

Libya were luckily awarded an innocuous penalty decision which they equalised. Baxter felt this was when his team really showed the strength of their mentality which allowed Tau to score the winner and showcase his quality in front of goal.

“I thought the penalty was harsh, of course I'm going to say that because I’m the South African coach. I thought the players showed incredible character to come back and to and to get 2-1 and then to ride out the storm that we knew that was going to come.”

South Africa qualified for Afcon 2019, it’s their first appearance in the continental competition since 2015.

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