Ronwen ‘a good decision’

2019-07-03 06:02
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has defended his decision to play Ronwen Williams (pictured) ahead of Darren Keet in the clash against Ivory Coast.PHOTO: gallo

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has defended his decision to play Ronwen Williams (pictured) ahead of Darren Keet in the clash against Ivory Coast.PHOTO: gallo

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BAFANA Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he selected Ronwen Williams for the 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast due to his shot-stopping and match sharpness.

Some expected Darren Keet to start after his heroic performance in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over Libya, which helped Bafana reach the tournament in Egypt.

However, the 29-year-old was dropped from the Wits starting line-up in final games of the season as he did not want to sign a new contract with the Absa Premiership club. As such, Williams was made number one and produced a solid display against the Ivorians as he made several saves before Jonathan Kodjia’s winner went past him.

Baxter told reporters: “When we played in Tunisia against Libya, we played with three centre-backs and their strength was playing in lots of crosses.

“But that was not the Ivory Coast strength. This was a different game. Darren was suited for that game [against Libya] and Darren has been a little bit more inactive. Ronwen was more suited for this game, his shot-stopping, and his quick distribution would be important. I thought Ronwen did very well.”

Baxter also admitted his side lacked an attacking threat as a toothless Bafana registered just two shots on target in their defeat.

“If you don’t create enough of an attacking threat against a good side like Ivory Coast, you’re going to have problems,” said Baxter.

A surprising statistic from a tense encounter was that despite Bafana enjoying 52% of possession in the first half, they failed to register a single shot on target. South Africa’s next match will be against Namibia on Friday at 10 pm (SA time).

“The target for the remaining two games? I think we showed today that we belong in this tournament, we showed we can be a tough opponent for everybody,” said Baxter. “We are going into both games looking to take points. I think we showed enough to say we can actually take points from this group.”

— KickOff, Sport24.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT

Cameroon 2 - 0 Guinea-Bissau

TODAY’S FIXTURES

Nigeria v Guinea — 4.30 pm

Uganda v Zimbabwe — 7 pm

Egypt v DR Congo — 10 pm

NEXT ON NEWS24X

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