Bafana Bafana

Baxter to experiment with starting XI against Paraguay

Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter believes that the Nelson Mandela Challenge match against Paraguay offers him a chance to experiment with his starting XI.

READ: SAFA apologises for no SABC broadcast of Bafana-Nigeria clash

Tuesday's match will see South Africa and Paraguay square off for their fourth time in sixteen years.

Their first meeting was in 2002 in Busan, South Korea during the 2002 FIFA World Cup which was co-hosted by Japan and Korea.

The match finished 2-2 with Teboho Mokoena and Quinton Fortune finding the net for the Jomo Sono-coached side.

The two sides met again in 2008 in Attridgeville’s Lucas Moripe Stadium where Bafana Bafana beat Paraguay 3-0 with goals from Surprise Moriri, Benni McCarthy and Simphiwe Tshabalala. The team was then coached by Carlos Alberto Parreira.

The last clash was in 2010 in the Paraguay’s capital of Asuncion. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with again Siphiwe Tshabalala finding the back of the net.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's match against the South American side, Baxter believes that the fixture will provide them with the much-needed experience.

“It is fitting that in the name of Mandela whose passion was to develop the youth that we get valuable international experience and prepare some of our players for the future,” he said as quoted by the official SAFA website.

“The main priority for Nigeria was to win the game that was our main aim against Nigeria.

“With this one (Paraguay game) we are looking more on the development, but we will also play to win although it should not be win at all costs.

“In our team selection, we will ask youngsters to play - balance between winning and development.

“These types of games are important because we experiment, we take the criticism if we don’t win but the main agenda is that we need to broaden the squad and give youngsters experience, which will be invaluable going forward.”

The match is scheduled to take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Kick-off will be at 19:00.

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