South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter has stated they are optimistic ahead of their crucial clash with Egypt on Saturday night.
Bafana Bafana are scheduled to face the Pharaohs in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Round of 16 match at Cairo International Stadium.
Baxter’s side reached the knockout phase despite recording two defeats, against Morocco and Ivory Coast.
“The tournament is quick. We played three games in a short (period of) time,” Baxter told the media
“We are optimistic about facing Egypt as we know their passion and I think they will have more pressure.”
Baxter lauded Egypt and Morocco as the two best teams in this year’s tournament, but the latter team was surprisingly eliminated by Benin in their Round of 16 match on Friday night.
“We have to play well since Egypt is a good team and we have to be ready for the game,” he added.
“Egypt and Morocco are the finest teams in the tournament so far, and we did our best to beat Morocco, but we failed.”
The former Finland head coach has identified the Pharaohs other key players apart from attackers Mohamed Salah and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan.
“So, we have to find a way to beat the Pharaohs,” the two-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) title-winning coach said.
“Egypt national team is not only Salah and Trezeguet. They have a brilliant midfielder and two talented defenders.
“We just hope to finish the game with a positive result,” the well-travelled coach concluded.
Bafana will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against the Pharaohs, who have failed to defeat South Africa in their last three matches across all competitions.
However, the last time the two teams met in an Afcon tournament, Egypt won 2-0 to clinch the 1998 title in the final.