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South Africa boss Baxter: Talk of dismantling Namibia is totally disrespectful

Both countries were beaten in their opening Group D matches.

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has warned his side to respect Namibia (Hassan Ammar/AP)
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has warned his side to respect Namibia (Hassan Ammar/AP)

South Africa boss Stuart Baxter has urged his side not to underestimate Namibia in Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations clash.

Bafana Bafana opened their Group D account with a 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast while Namibia were only beaten by Morocco following a 89th-minute own goal from Itamunua Keimuine.

Baxter told the South African Football Association’s official website: “Ivory Coast is the first game we have lost in one-and-a-half years and talking of dismantling Namibia is totally disrespectful towards a team that qualified for AFCON and ran Morocco very, very close.

“There were some positives but we were not really happy with our overall performance and yes, this is a massive game for us.

“The onus is on us to produce good football. If we play the way we are capable of, we can win the game but I will not come here and disrespect our opponents.”

Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti was in confident spirits.

He said: “We come into the match with positives from the Morrocco game and we need to compete and get the result we want.

“It’s not about the next round but the first win for the country and then anything can happen.”

PA

From Belfast Telegraph