South Africa’s National Under-23 side qualified for next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympic Games after beating Ghana 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after fulltime in a U-23 AFCON 3rd/4th playoff match which took place at Cairo International Stadium on Friday night.
In this match, Coach David Notoane’ side played with great aggression up in the final third from the onset in search for an early lead.
That goal came in the 16th minute when eventual man of the match winner, Luther Singh, slotted home from a tight angle inside the box. Ghana, though, responded really well in the second period and scored an equalizer through Evans Mensah, who pulled a powerful strike just four minutes into the second stanza of the game.
Two help control the direction and flow of the game, Notoane made three substitutions, one of which was Kamohelo Mahlatsi who scored South Africa’s second goal of the match in the 62nd minute to put them back in the lead.
Mahlatsi came in for Teboho Mokoena just two minutes before he scored his goal.
Ghana scored another equalizer through Samuel Gyabaa just six minutes before fulltime to force the match to go straight into penalties.
Coach David expressed his delight over how his charges carried themselves in the match, adding that they proved that they wanted it more than their opponents did.
“I would like to congratulate my boys for qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympic Games,” Notoane said. “We played against a strong side and there could only one winner from this tie. We will now go back home and come up with a proper preparation plan which will help us get ready for next year’s global sporting event.”