The South African U-23 Olympic team lost 4 -3 to France in their second match of the Tokyo 2020 at Saitama Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The u23s on three occasions took the lead but allowed the French to equalise soon after on all three instances before taking the unassailable lead later in referee’s optional time.
It was a heart-breaking result for David Notoane’s side who had put up a brilliant show and deserved something from this encounter.
South Africa could have gone to the break in the lead but striker Luther Singh missed a penalty when he blasted his kick over the bar.
Kobamelo Kodisang gave South Africa the lead in the 52nd minute of the match with a beautiful goal after beating the French goalkeeper but Gignac equalized for France in the 56th minute.
South Africa took the lead again in the 73rd minute from a world class goal by rising star Evidence Mokgopa but again Gignac silenced them with his second goal in the 78th minute.
Teboho Mokoena put South Africa in the lead for the third time in the 82nd minute before Gignac got his hat-trick of the day in the 85th minute of the match from a penalty spot.
France took the lead for the first time in the 90th minute with a goal from Savenier, which then saw them take the three points, leaving South Africa with great disappointment after a great performance throughout the match.
South Africa who are currently bottom of the table in Group A will now face Mexico in their last match of Tokyo2020 on 28 July 2021.
South Africa starting XI: Ronwen Williams (GK); Tercious Malepe (c); Luke Fleurs; Katlego Mohamme; Reeve Frosler; Teboho Mokoena; Nkosingiphile Ngcobo; Thabo Cele; Kobamelo Kodisang; Luther Singh; Evidence Makgapo
South Africa substitutes: Mondli Mpoto (GK); Sifiso Mlungwana (GK); Thendo Mukumela; Thabiso Monyane; Sibusiso Mabiliso; Macbeth Mahlangu; Goodman Mosele; Kamohelo Mahlatsi
France starting XI: Paul Bernardoni (GK); Pierre Kalulu; Niels Nkounkou; Lucas Tousart; Nathanael Mbuku; Andre-Pierre Gignac (c); Teji Savanier; Clement Michelin; Florian Thauvin; Anthony Caci; Randal Kolo Muani
French substitutes: Stefan Bajic (GK); Timothee Pembele; Arnaud Nordin; Enzo Le Fee; Alexis Beka Beka; Modibo Sagnan; Ismael Doukoure