AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson impressed with Bafana after playing Stuart Baxter's charges

06 September 2018 - 14:33 By Marc Strydom
Bafana Bafana team talk during the team training session at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban on September 04, 2018.
Bafana Bafana team talk during the team training session at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban on September 04, 2018.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson has said that his side were asked to play to a defensive gameplan in their training match against Bafana Bafana on Wednesday to try to replicate what the national team expects from Libya on Saturday.

Johnson said Bafana appeared highly motivated in their 2-0 training match win against his club at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

The game‚ played in 30-minute halves‚ served as a warm-up for South Africa for their crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Libya at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium (kickoff 3pm).

Johnson did not seem to want to give too much away about Bafana's approach in the match‚ but he did say that goal-scorers Vincent Pule and Bradley Grobler looked sharp for South Africa coach Stuart Baxter's men.

"Look‚ we did specifics for Stuart Baxter in order for him to get from the game what he wanted‚" Jonhson said.

"But performance-wise‚ I couldn't tell you who stood out. What I can say is that the team looked like it was in good spirits‚ and looked like it was happy.

"They trained [for an hour] before we came there as well.

"And we were given a specific instruction from Stuart to play a certain way‚ and we did that. And Bafana were able to probably achieve their objectives.

"But they look very positive and they look like they're prepared. Hopefully they are.

"And we just wish them the best‚ and hope that whatever we were able to provide on the day helps them to overcome the opposition."

Johnson said Orlando Pirates winger Pule and SuperSport United striker Grobler both looked on song.

"Ja‚ they both looked good‚" the AmaZulu coach said.

Baxter asked AmaZulu to sit deep and mostly absorb pressure and play a spoiling game against Bafana‚ hoping to replicate a defensive approach he expects from Libya.

"Yes‚ we tried to do as much of that as possible. And I think Stuart achieved his objective‚" Johnson said.

Goals would hardly have been the South Africans' priority in a training match but Baxter might have taken some satisfaction that Pule‚ a replacement for injured Themba Zwane‚ and Grobler‚ who began the week not training fully with a knock‚ got on the scoresheet.

Bafana began their Cameroon 2019 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win against Nigeria away in Uyo. Libya started Group E with a 5-1 thrashing of Seychelles in Egypt.