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Africa Cup of Nations

Baxter relieved with Angola fixture added to Ghana friendly before the Afcon

09:35 BST 06/06/2019
Stuart Baxter South Africa June 6
South Africa has managed to secure one more international friendly ahead of the 2019 Afcon which will be staged in Egypt later this month

Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that his charges will play at least two international friendly matches before the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). 

According to Baxter, South Africa will face Ghana on June 15 before taking on Angola on June 19, just two days before the tournament begins. 

Baxter had been complaining about his team's lack of warm-up matches ahead of the trip to North Africa, so the Angola fixture has now been added to their schedule.    

"We're going to play Ghana on the 15th [of June], and we're going to play Angola in Egypt on the 19th [of June]. That's the [extra] one that we can get. So, I'm taking it," Baxter confirmed to the media. 

Baxter admitted that South Africa needs more than just two games to be fully prepared for the Afcon, but he's pleased with the two international friendlies that the South African Football Association (Safa) has been able to get so far.  

"We need more than two games really, but that’s what we can get," he said.

Bafana are currently camping in Johannesburg, but they will step up their preparation with a trip to Dubai next week before jetting off to Egypt

Baxter is expected to announce his final 23-man squad just before Bafana fly out of the country on June 11, and he has given little away as to which players would make the cut. 

The 65-year-old mentor had an opportunity to use his tried and tested players in the ongoing Cosafa Cup tournament, but he opted to send David Notoane, who is South Africa's U23 head coach. He didn't want to take the risk of losing important players at the regional tournament. 

Bafana Bafana have already lost Keagan Dolly, who was part of Notoane's squad for the Cosafa Cup. 

South Africa have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

South Africa will begin their Afcon campaign against Cote d'Ivoire in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and then Morocco.