SA U20 beat Ethiopia and proceed to third round of qualifiers

The South African U20 Men’s National Team won 2-0 in Addis Ababa a fortnight ago. 

South Africa made their intentions clear as early as the 15th minute when the livewire Nhlakanipho Ntuli found himself with the Ethiopia goalkeeper Shifer Wasegida Klilu but failed to find the back of the net. 

Amajita head coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba made just one change from the team that won 2-0 in Ethiopia – bringing on defender Khumbulani Mkhize for Denwin Farmer who has been struggling with a back problem at training. 

The visitors dictated terms earlier in the game as they tried to reduce the deficit but found the hosts resolute in defence. 

South Africa was awarded a penalty in the 38th minute after good work from Fagrie Lakay on the right hand side and an Ethiopian defender was adjudged to have handled in the box. Referee Osiase Koto from Lesotho did not hesitate and pointed to the spot. Ntuli coolly slotted the ball home to give the home side an unassailable 3-0 lead. 

Ethiopia nearly got back into the match just a minute before the break, but Dumisani Msibi did well to deny them in a one-on-one situation. 

The second half saw the visitors launch a fight back as they enjoyed a greater ball possession but could not show anything for it. 

Both teams made several substitutions but that did not change the complexion of the game. Ethiopia nearly found the back of the net had it not been for the great work by Msibi who dived to his left to pull off a great one-handed save. 

South Africa brought on Tshepo Chaine, Sikhumbuzo Mazibuko and Bandile Shandu for Pule Maraisane, Siyanda Ngubo and Fagrie Lakay respectively. 

Amajita will now face Cameroon in the third and final round of the qualifiers.

The first match will be played on the weekend of 15-17 August 2014 while the return leg take place two weeks later on the weekend of 29-31 August. 

The winner will qualify for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championships which will be held in Senegal from 8 – 22 March in 2015. 

The semi-finalists at the AYC will represent Africa at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand. 

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