Cape Town – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has defended his side's performance in their 2-0 World Cup qualifier defeat to Senegal on Friday night.
Bafana needed to win to keep their hopes of qualifying for Russia's 2018 World Cup alive, but the defeat means they will not be taking part in the global showpiece.
Speaking after the match, Baxter said he felt his side was the better side in the first half despite going into the break 2-0 down.
"It's difficult for the team and difficult for the home country," he told SuperSport after the match.
"We tried to get ourselves back into contention after those back to back losses to Cape Verde. The performance in the first half, it was amazing that we went 2-0 down because I thought we were better than them."
Baxter rued his side's inability to convert their opportunities.
"We didn't have one class-act that could conjure up something out of nothing," he said.
"We missed our chances. The second half we still created more chances than they did. But it all means nothing as we went down 2-0 and they go to Russia."
On his own future, Baxter was optimistic.
"My mandate was never about 'qualify for the world cup or you go home', I wanna make sure that we're making progress," he said.
"I've seen some of the performances that we need to move more quickly. We need to make progress. We need to have everyone's backing in the country, including SAFA and that's the only way we'll get better."