Afcon 2019: Bafana Bafana have been terrible - Clive Barker

Clive Barker, 2018
The former South African national team coach has reflected on Bafana's Afcon campaign so far

Former Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) winning coach Clive Barker is critical of Bafana Bafana’s 2019 campaign.

South Africa have been less than convincing during the group stages but snuck into the knockout stages of the tournament as one of the four best third-placed teams.

"Everybody is disappointed and I'm no different,” Baxter told Sport24.

“Bafana Bafana have plenty of room to improve because they have been terrible up until now. The players don't look like they are really enjoying themselves and have appeared frightened to venture over the halfway line.”

Bafana are now set for a Round of 16 clash with hosts Egypt, and Barker is desperate to see an improved showing on Saturday night.

"Traditionally, South African footballers have always expressed themselves. Our sides that have really played well have had players who want to do something on the ball,” Barker said.

“Bafana failed to deliver convincing displays during the group stages and, when watching them, the feeling I got is that they are worried about losing. If you are worried about losing then you are never going to take any chances."

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In addition to Bafana’s pragmatic approach at the tournament, they have found the back of the net just once during the group stages and failed to register a single shot on target against both Ivory Coast and Morocco.

"It's frustrating for everybody and certainly for the supporters back home. If we compare it to the 1996 Afcon tournament, which we won, we managed to score 11 goals and the current Bafana side haven't even had 11 shots on target in three games,” the former AmaZulu coach explained.

"You have got to score goals to take the pressure off. You can never really express yourselves if you don't get in front and secure a comfortable lead," he concluded.