If you missed it, the South African National U20 Men’e football team, Amajita have qualified for the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea.
Amajita qualified for the tournament coming up in May this year after they humbled Sudan to a 3 – 1 defeat in the final Group match at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.
It was goals from Phakamani Mahlambi, Grant Margeman and Sibongakonke Mbatha that handed Amajita the solid win in the tough game.
First, Mahlambi scored a cool goal for the Amajita. But, Sudan’s Khaled Osman replied 10 minutes later.
After the team went to halftime at 1 – 1, coach Thabo Senong substituted Kobamelo Kodisang for Liam Jordan in the 52th minute and Itumeleng Shopane for the tiring Phakamani Mahlambi in the 58th minute.
The changes changed the pace of the game and soon, in the 59th minute, Grant Margeman netted the second goal for the Amajita. Afterwards, Sibongakonke Mbatha sealed Sudan’s fate as the loser.
Commenting after the game, Coach Senong praised the Sudanese for putting up good fight. He said:
“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.”
Amajita’s win means they “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,” South African Football Association (SAFA) stated.
SAFA President, Danny Jordaan also described the win as a major achievement.
“This was a major achievement” he said, “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,” added the SAFA President.
Already, Amajita is getting set to play tournament hosts in the first semi final of the 2017 CAF U20 African Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 8 March 2017. The clash will happen at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.