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SA SOCCER NEWS
Baxter confident of Bafana Bafana victory 30/08/04
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is confident that South Africa will beat the Democratic Republic of Congo when the two sides meet in their World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.

Touchline Photo

However, Baxter's Bafana squad looks depleted following the withdrawal of several key players through injury.

Shaun Bartlett, Benson Mhlongo and Quinton Fortune have all been ruled out of the clash, which leaves the coach with a bit of a problem, especially in midfield, where Mhlongo has been establishing himself as a real hardman.

"In his (Mhlongo) absence, I will have to look at a number of options such as using McBeth Sibaya, or I may even be forced to move either Nasief Morris or Lucky Lekgwathi from defence to midfield," he said.

"We are going for a win despite the injuries, strife in the DR Congo and the weather," said Baxter. "If we fail to win, we should settle for a draw."

Baxter admitted last week that was a crazy week for him as he was swamped numerous by numerous calls from players, doctors and physiotherapists.

"I felt like an ambulance man because every time I picked up the phone, it was about an injury to a player. Besides the players, in the past week I have spoken to the Manchester United doctor and the Charlton Athletic physiotherapist," he was quoted by News24.com.

"When I got a call from Hans Vonk just before dinner the other day, it felt like those calls that inform you that a member of your family has just passed on."

But, the Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper was only calling to inform Baxter that he was fit and raring to go.

South Africa tops Group 2 with six points from three matches after defeating the Cape Verde 2-1, losing 3-0 to Ghana and overcoming Burkina Faso 2-0, with the teams finishing top of each group qualifying for the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006, and the first and second-placed teams will travel to Egypt to contest the African Cup of Nations that same year.

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