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Bafana Bafana showed character against Angola, says Stuart Baxter

10:13 AM WAT 22/03/2018
Bafana Bafana, Stuart Baxter
Bafana will now face hosts Chipolopolo in the final on Saturday

It took South Africa penalty shoot-outs to dispatch Angola in their Four Nations semi-final after a 1-1 draw, but Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has praised his men for the win.

The 1996 African champions fought back to reverse a 1-0 lead against the Palancas Negras to ensure the game was decided on penalties as they bagged a 6-5 win on Wednesday afternoon.

Baxter said his men were brave as they sealed a spot in the finals against hosts Zambia who beat Zimbabwe on the same day.

Debutant Lebogang Mothiba netted for Bafana in the second half with a cheeky back heel following a good run from Phakamani Mahlambi.

“The boys showed character against a very stubborn Angola side. We started off a bit slow in the opening minutes and they really came at us," said Baxter.

“We eventually gained control of the game with the younger players gaining more confidence. The opening goal was a bit unfortunate but I am glad we recuperated and found the equaliser," he reacted.

“It was a great performance and we looking forward to the final on Saturday” he said.

“I thought Angola moved the ball better ­their passing was better, and then I thought we, especially the younger players, settled down and they equipped themselves very nicely," he continued.

“I thought we played better in the second half, we controlled the ball better, and then penalties are penalties, it could have gone either way but I’m very happy to go through [to the final]," said the former SuperSport United boss.

“I think it was a difficult opponent and for the youngsters it was a big game, so I think they did quite well,” he praised.

Against Chipolopolo, the English mentor could be tempted to call on his experienced players such as Thulani Hlatshwayo and Itumeleng Khune as he will want to win the tournament.

On the other hand, the former Kaizer Chiefs coach hinted on selecting a different  team and hand debuts to players such as Daniel Cardoso, Innocent Maela and Thembinkosi Lorch who are likely to make their debuts.

“The team I’ll be picking in the final will be a completely different team, it will be 11 different players. We need this game and we’ll do everything we can to win,” concluded the coach.