• Baxter reveals Mothiba played with a hip problem

    Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has revealed that striker Lebo Mothiba had a hip-flexor problem prior to facing Nigeria in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

    The Super Eagles advanced to the semi-finals of the Afcon after defeating South Africa 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday evening.

    Mothiba failed to make an impact in the game and his poor decision-making in the final third forced Baxter to substitute the Strasbourg striker late in the match.

    Baxter has since said that Mothiba came to him on the Tuesday evening with concerns over his hip-flexor problem, but the striker was assessed and cleared to play for Bafana against the West African outfit.

    ‘It’s important that the players feel the trust of the coach in every situation and I think Lebo came to me on Tuesday with the doctor and said that he had a hip-flexor problem from his club Strasbourg that was giving him some problems. We tested him and he could play,’ Baxter told the media.

    ‘That’s why I took him off because his hip flexor was sore. I don’t think he played badly. He is a young player playing against very experienced players and playing in a very difficult game. That he does not play a man-of-the-match performance every week is not a surprise, but I thought he played OK and did his job. In the first half, we did not get service to him, but we took him off because he had a bit of an injury.’

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