The South African men’s Under-20 team, Amajita scored a priceless 2-0 win over their Ethiopian counterparts in the first leg 2015 African Youth Championships┬á (AYC) qualifier played at a packed National Stadium in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Two goals in the second half by substitute Tshepo Chaine and Siyanda Ngubo in the 68th and 85th minute were enough to give head coach Shakes Mashaba a deserved victory.
South Africa could have opened the scoring as early as the fouth minute when Denwin Farmer’s glancing header went agonisingly wide of the Ethiopian goal after the visitors were awarded a free kick. Two minutes later the hosts also saw their attempt go just over the bar.
Ethiopia had more ball possession but could not penetrate the solid South African defence.
In the 9th and 11th minutes Tlotlo Leepile and Ngubo had one-on-one situations but were denied by Ethiopian keeper Sheeran Asegid. Ngubo came close again in the 28th minute, but his shot was stopped off the line with the keeper in no-man’s land as the match went to the break deadlocked.
The home side nearly took the lead shortly after the restart with only goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi to beat, but he was equal to the task, using his legs to stop the shot.
Mashaba made a substitution in the 63rd minute, bringing on Chaine for Pule Maraisane and five minutes later the move paid off as Chaine scored into an empty net after Ngubo did all the hard work near the corner and beating a defender before squaring on for Chaine who made no mistake.
The goal brought silence to the National Stadium, which until then, had been vibrant.
Five minutes before the final whistle South Africa got a free kick and Maphosa Modiba floated it into the box where Ngubo pushed it past the goalkeeper to give the visitors a healthy2-0 lead ahead of the home second leg in two weeks time.
There was further drama when Gach Matay was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Chaine after the referee had blown the final whistle.