South Africa finished second in their group, behind Netherlands and in front of Belgium and Saudi Arabia in the under-12 Danone Nations Cup football world finals currently underway in Marrakesh, Morocco. This puts South Africa within the top 16 going into the play-offs tomorrow.
South Africa went into their first game against the Netherlands cautiously. The boys were focused and disciplined and despite the enormous size of some of the players, this did not phase them and the determined team took the opponents by surprise and ran rings around them. South Africa were given a number of free kicks in front of goal, and created a number of opportunities to put one in the next, but the boys never managed to convert and ended the game in a 0-0 drawn.
The second game was against Belgium, who had just come from a 2 – 0 win against Saudi Arabia, so were on a high. Here again there were some very tall boys who thought the diminutive boys from South Africa would be a push over, but here again the South Africans took them by surprise putting one in the net by young midfielder, Lunga, who has a winning mentality and came into the tournament determined to score at least one goal. The game ended 1 – 0 giving the South Africans their three points.
The South Africans ran out of steam against Saudi Arabia, who were fitter and quicker on their feet and they managed to get one in the net to clinch their first win of the day.
The young South Africans, represented by Bree Primary School in Mayfair, will need to get their stamina back to finish off the tournament as high on the log as possible.