South Africa vs Morocco
Al Salaam Stadium, Cairo
Monday, 01-07-2019 @7pm
South Africa will have their eyes set on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 when they take on Morocco at the Al Salaam Stadium on Monday evening.
After losing 0-1 to Ivory Coast in their first game, Bafana Bafana edged Namibia by the same score-line to re-ignite their AFCON campaign, last week.
A point may still see South Africa progress to the next round but head coach Stuart Baxter has his sights set on victory.
“We know Morocco were very strong in their game against Ivory Coast and have a very experienced team and will be a tough opponent for us,” said Baxter.
“But we feel we’re settling more and more into a good rhythm and we believe we can win the game.
“The players are quite confident and they know the preparations having been going quite well.”
Baxter has tough decisions to make as Dean Furman’s fitness in midfield cannot be counted on and selecting a goalkeeper will not be easy. Darren Keet and Ronwen Williams have taken turns recently and Keet had some nervy moments against Namibia.
Even if Williams is brought back into the team for Monday’s match, his confidence may be down by now.
For the Atlast Lions, they have won by only one-goal margins against Namibia and the Ivory Coast, they have exhibited class and appear to be keeping plenty in reserve for the knockout phase.
The goal that sunk the Ivorians demonstrated why the Atlas Lions are considered one of the biggest threats to hosts and bookmakers’ favourites Egypt.
With qualification already a certainty, Morocco are expected to make several changes to their squad as they bid to keep their stars fresh for the next round.
Ahead of the clash, Morocco head coach Herve Renard anticipates a tough contest:
“South Africa have a lot of very good players,” said the French former Lille boss.
“They also have a good coach in Stuart Baxter so it will be a tough game.”
South Africa are unbeaten in their four previous Africa Cup of Nations matches against Morocco (W2 D2).
There have been no clean sheets in those four meetings between South Africa and Morocco.
Youssef En-Nesyri has been involved in three goals in his last five Africa Cup of Nations appearances, scoring twice and assisting one.
South Africa have reached the knockout rounds just once from their past five attempts.
Morocco have won four of their past five games at the Africa Cup of Nations, having prevailed in just two of the previous 14 (D5 L7).
The other games on Monday
Monday’s other fixtures
-Namibia vs Ivory Coast @7pm
-South Africa vs Morocco @7pm
-Tanzania vs Algeria @10pm