South Africa manager Stuart Baxter has warned his players not to underestimate Namibia in Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations Group D clash.
The sides are set to meet in the Al Salam Stadium after both were beaten 1-0 in their opening fixtures. Bafana Bafana lost to Ivory Coast, with Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia netting the only goal of the game, while an 89th-minute own goal from Itamunua Keimuine was enough for Morocco to see off Namibia.
Defeat for either nation could well be terminal to their chances of reaching the knockout stage and South Africa are 1.75 favourites to take all three points. The Brave Warriors can be backed at 5.25 but Baxter feels talk that his men will be far too good for the opposition is a little premature.
“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,” he said.
“There were some positives but we were not really happy with our overall performance and yes, this is a massive game for us.” South Africa are on offer at 41.00 to win this year’s African showpiece while Namibia are 251.00 outsiders but their coach Ricardo Mannetti appears upbeat for the challenge ahead.
He said: “We come into the match with positives from the Morocco 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.”