Afcon 2019: Calvin Marlin slams 'average' Bafana Bafana ahead of Egypt clash

South Africa v Namibia - Hlompho Kekana - June 2019
The goalkeeper coach has shared his views ahead of the eagerly anticipated Afcon clash between Bafana and Egypt

Former South Africa international Calvin Marlin doesn’t see Bafana Bafana beating Egypt on Saturday night.

Bafana are set to face the Pharaohs in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Round of 16 match in Cairo, Egypt.

“Look, I think we have been very average with our performances. It’s not like we dominated any team we played against in the previous round. We didn’t take any shots at goal on target and we can’t really say Bafana were unlucky in the past few games, but they were really lucky to get through to the next stage,” Marlin told Goal.

Bafana reached the knockout phase as one of the four best third-placed teams, while the Pharaohs won Group A.

“Obviously, Egypt will come with guns blazing, they will want to win this game there is no doubt about that and they have the crowds, they are the hosts and they will want to go through and take this trophy,” he continued.

“They have quality in their team and I am not really optimistic when it comes to our chances, but football is a funny game and we can never tell what will really happen,” responded the former Bafana player.

“Yeah, it’s not just that we have players that once played at that stadium against an Egyptian opponent, but it’s about us as a team because we failed to string together passes, it’s like we went there to sit and wait for an opponent to come at us,” he reacted.

“It seems we only rely on counter-attacks and we leave our two poor strikers having to do the chasing to find the ball because they don’t get the necessary supply,” he explained.

Moreover, the former SuperSport United keeper remains unsure as to why Baxter has chopped and changed goalkeepers at the tournament.

Ronwen Williams started in the game against Cote d’Ivoire but he was benched against the Namibians when Darren Keet started, then Williams returned against the Moroccans on Monday night.

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“I also saw the changes, maybe it’s partly because the coach is just having a selection headache. Perhaps he feels both are level when it comes to quality and commitment,” Marlin responded.

“I was expecting to hear stories that Ronwen was injured or something, but I think he saw the other has a better quality for this game than the other one,” he stated.

“In my opinion, Ronwen did well in the opening game and I also believe Darren did well for us against Namibia, but I don’t mind if he starts with any keeper. It’s not major for me – they are both quality keepers,” he concluded.