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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Baxter names unchanged Bafana Bafana starting XI for Nigeria clash

12:31 AM SGT 11/7/19
South Africa v Morocco July 2019 - Stuart Baxter
The 65-year-old tactician refuses to tinker with a winning formula as he named his starting XI for the highly-anticipated clash against Nigeria

If it isn’t broken don’t fix it – this seems to be the thinking behind Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter's decision to name an unchanged starting XI for his side’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash against Nigeria.

Bafana have never beaten the Super Eagles at the Afcon finals, as the previous two meetings ended in favour of Nigeria, but Baxter and his charges will be full of confidence following their stunning victory over Egypt in the previous round.

The Southern Africans put on a stellar showing on the weekend, edging out Egypt 1-0 in the Round of 16, and Baxter was certainly happy with what his saw as he has gone with the exact same team, looking to tame the Nigerians.

Once again, Baxter has entrusted the trio of Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu and Dean Furman to boss the midfield while Percy Tau and Lebo Mothiba partner Thembinkosi Lorch, who was the hero against Egypt.

Lorch’s heroics against Egypt means Themba Zwane misses out on a return to the starting XI, after missing the previous match due to suspension.

Meanwhile, Baxter looks to have found his No.1 in the absence of Itumeleng Khune, with Ronwen Williams yet again being preferred to Darren Keet.

On paper, Bafana are clear underdogs having won just two of the last 14 meetings between the two sides.

However, Bafana are unbeaten in their last five matches against Nigeria and will take great solace from their previous two meetings, in the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.

Bafana beat Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo before playing out to a 1-1 draw in the return leg in Johannesburg, and Baxter will be keen to see his side overcome their arch-rivals at the Cairo International Stadium and reach the semi-finals.   

Full starting XI: Ronwen Williams, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Sifiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo (C), Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba