Our national men’s Under-17 men’s soccer team (Amajimbos) have arrived back in the country after their 1-0 second leg victory over Zambia in the African Youth Championship qualifying match at the weekend.
With that solitary away goal advantage, the South Africans won the two-legged encounter 2-1 on aggregate having drawn with the young Chipolopolo 1-1 at Dobsonville stadium two weeks ago to proceed to the next round of the tournament.
Amajita will now face Ghana in the next round on 17 November in the first leg at a venue still to be decided.
Head Coach Ephriam ÔÇ£ShakesÔÇØ Mashaba said he was very excited by the youngsters’ tenacity, hard work and overall spirit away from home that saw them emerge victorious under tough conditions.
ÔÇ£We only had two training sessions under unrelenting heat but lady luck was on our side because on the match day it was generally cloudy, something that helped us cope and concentrate on the game rather than the heat. The boys played very well, stuck to the game plan which was to attack from the first whistle since there was nothing to defend and it paid off.
ÔÇ£After a goalless first half in which we completely dominated, we knew we had them on the backfoot and we managed to keep the pressure and score from a set piece,ÔÇØ said an elated Mashaba.
The coach said while he was happy with progressing to the next round, it was important for players to know that the war was not over.
ÔÇ£We need to now beat Ghana and realise our dream of qualifying for the African Youth championship scheduled for Morocco next year,ÔÇØ he said.
ÔÇ£The match against Ghana will be a tough one as the West Africans are renowned for their successful youth policy. But we are more than ready because the win over Zambia has buoyed the boys and we should go all the way,ÔÇØ added the coach.