Stuart Baxter now under pressure for Seychelles matches

Percy Tau of South Africa is challenged by Ismaiel Sharadi and Sand Masaud of Libya during their clash in 2018. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter must get six points from matches against Seychelles after admitting his side let themselves down in their goalless draw with Libya in Durban.

After the African Nations Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium, which leaves South Africa on four points after two matches, the country's football association president appeared to issue a warning over the coach's future.

Bafana Bafana played to a sixth goalless draw in their last eight Nations Cup qualifiers as they once again failed to break down a stubborn visiting defence, with Libya seeing the better of the chances in the game.

"The players worked their socks off but I don't think we really did ourselves justice, especially at times in the second half when we won the ball," Baxter told SABC TV after the match.

"To play to the strengths of our side, we need to get the ball moving and we allowed them to press us and therefore we didn't get the opportunities in attack that we should have had. But this is not a bad team we played." 

The home side appeared to get more frantic as the game wore on, and Baxter admitted there was an element of indecision from his side.

"There was a little bit of impatience, snatching and taking too many touches on the ball. We want the ball to be moving, that's our strength."

Baxter sprung a surprise in his lineup, including uncapped winger Vincent Pule ahead of in-form striker Bradley Grobler, who came on for the former at half-time.

"We had three centre-midfield players in the first half and none of them got up alongside our striker. So when we got through the gate and had good crossing opportunities, we were a man short," the coach explained.

"Pule had been very lively in training and I thought he could get behind them. On a wet pitch it was more difficult for them to play out, so I thought we would get those transition chances and I wanted the pace of Pule.

"But when we weren't getting players into the box, I brought in Bradley to provide a target up front." 

SAFA president Danny Jordaan was interviewed after the game and while he talked up the quality of Libya, he suggested that anything but six points from the home and away clashes against Seychelles next month could spell trouble for Baxter.

"Libya came for a point and left with one. That changes the complexion of the competition, it will be a fight to the end. Now with two games against the Seychelles, we have to return a maximum [haul of points]," Jordaan said.

"What was quite encouraging was to see the young players being introduced into the team. It is a team in transition, but it is clear that the coach must settle on a final eleven now and we hope the next two games will give us the opportunity to do that."

Libya coach Adel Amrouche was delighted with the point for his side, and says they came to play good football.

"To take one point is better than to take nothing," Algerian-born Amrouche said. "We are still positive, for our people in Libya we think about the war and all that has happened, we wanted to give them good football. 

"We played good football, you didn't see any long balls, it was good football. We had many chances against this very good South African team. 

"I am happy with a point, the most important thing was not to go away with zero points. The fighting spirit of my team was good."