Stuart Baxter, coach of the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, has said in a post-match conference that it would take him one week to explain why his team lost to Nigeria.
The South Africans lost to the Super Eagles 2-1 in the quarter-final of the ongoing AFCON in the Round of 16 at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday.
Baxter told reporters that he could not immediately figure out why they lost the game to the Eagles, and that his players played according to instructions.
“It’s difficult when you’ve lost a game in the dying minutes. It’s difficult to find positives.
“I am sure that in one week’s time, I will find some positives. At this moment, I am finding it very difficult.
“But we were brave enough to get on the ball in tight spaces in the first half and brave enough to press higher and we tried to do that better in the second half.
“We tried to get a better more mobile possession which gave Nigeria more problems but we still couldn’t find that last strike on goal to get there.”
He admitted that his team lost to “a better and more organised” Super Eagles, who were very dangerous on the winks.
“Nigeria was always dangerous. They were really well organised and had good players and we didn’t defend as well as we could.
“We were trying to press higher and left some spaces, especially in the flanks where their good players could attack, while we didn’t have support to get there.
“But then, you make your choices as a coach. You go defensive and try to take them one-on-one and force the game to extra-time and win the game.
“So, we tried to win the game but we lost it in the dying minutes, which is very difficult to take.
“But congratulations to Gernot and his team. I am sure they’ll be one of the teams that will be competing to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament,” he added.