The South African National u20 Men’s football team, Amajita have qualified for the FIFA u20 World Cup in South Korea in May this year after beating Sudan 3-1 in the final Group match at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.
By winning this CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations match, Amajita have set a date with hosts Zambia in what has become a regional derby between the two sides. The semi-final match will take place on Wednesday.
“This was a major achievement and the boys have made the country proud. After our u17 side qualified for the World Cup last year, it is this type of progress that has seen our Vision 2022 take immediate shape.
“The semis against Zambia will be a typical final before the final and the boys must look forward to this game,” said SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan who flew to Zambia on Saturday to give the boys moral support.
Goals by Phakamani Mahlambi, Grant Margeman and Sibongakonke Mbatha gave Amajita a good win in this tight game.
While Sudan’s lone goal was scored by Khaled Osman, the Falcons of Jediane gave Amajita a run for their money and matched them man for man especially in the first half.
Mahlambi netted a beautiful goal after Singh had done all the work on the left flank but Osman responded 10 minutes later after South Africa’s defence had gone to sleep as the two teams went to halftime deadlocked at 1-1.
In the second half, coach Thabo Senong made shrewd substitutions bringing in Kobamelo Kodisang for Liam Jordan in the 52th minute and Itumeleng Shopane for the tiring Phakamani Mahlambi in the 58th minute and the changes immediately changed the complexion of the game.
Margeman netted a beauty of a goal in the 59th minute after some world class attacking from Kodisang before Mbatha put some icing on the cake late in the game to send Amajita into wild celebrations.
Senong believes that the Sudanese put up a great fight but the South African Football Association’s Vision 2022, was the bigger picture on the day which will see them grace the South Korea World Cup stage.
“Well done to Sudan, but we had to win today. This win, qualifying for the CAF U20 AFCON semi finals and the FIFA U20 World Cup is an important part in the development of South African football.
“We are not happy that we have conceded 5 goals in the group stages and this is not normal for us. Once again we will go back to the drawing board to prepare and correct our errors for the semis,” said Senong.
South Africa will now play tournament hosts in the first semi final of the 2017 CAF U20 African Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 8 March 2017 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.
Teams line ups:
Sudanstarting XI: Ishag Adam Mohamed (GK); Eid Mugadam Mugadam; Ammar Taifour; Khaled Osman; Walaa Eldin Musa; Hassan Hassan; Ramadan Suliman; Mohamed Hamatto; Musab Kurdman; Mohaid Weheed; Mustafa Elfadni (C)
Sudanese substitutions: Baghdad Hamad Salih; Mohamed Osama Tammimeldar; Mazin Mustafa; Fathelaleem Ibrahim;Mazin Mohamedien; Abdalla Yagoub (GK); Mohamed Abooja (GK); Mohamed Gumma; Moumen Esam; Ibrahim Colina
South African starting XI: Mondli Mpoto (GK); Katlego Mohamme; Thendo Mukumela; Tercious Malepe (C); Sandile Mthethwa; Grant Margeman; Teboho Mokoena; Sibongakonke Mbatha; Luther Singh; Phakamani Mahlambi; Liam Jordan
South African substitutions: Sanele Tshabalala; Khulekani Khubeka; Siyabonga Ngezana; Notha Ngcobo; Aghmat Ceres; Sipho Mbule; Wiseman Meyiwa; Kobamelo Kodisang; Itumeleng Shopane; Khanyisa Mayo