Amajita midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang has urged his compatriots to remain focused on the task ahead as the national men’s Under-20 football side take on Mozambique in the second leg of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday.
Kicking off at 3pm at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg, Amajita have the advantage to progress to the next round after playing to a 1-1 draw against the Mambinhas in Mozambique last weekend but Kodisang says they should not take it easy.￼
‘This is the big one and we just have to stay focused and do the best we can to keep a clean sheet. We have to double our efforts to ensure they don’t get a sniff at goal because if they don’t score then we will be well on our way to the third and final round of the qualifiers. We cannot afford to drop the ball because that will spell danger,’ said Kodisang.
‘It was important for us to score away, even though I believe we could have won the match, but that is now water under the bridge. We have a great chance to rectify some of the mistakes we made in Beira – but this is a tricky one because anyone who loses will have to kiss the World Cup goodbye. If they manage to score, they will take back the advantage so that is why it’s crucial that we work as a unit and deny them any chance. If we work hard, the goals will come.’
South Africa could have scored more than one goal in Mozambique, however, lack of composure in front of goal denied them, but Kodisang says that will all change.
‘I believe we’ll have the needed composure as we’re playing at home. We were a little bit scared to take our chances in the first leg, and were perhaps less confident – but we’ve been working hard at training and we’ll see a lot of changes in our approach. I believe we will play much better because we are starting to gel nicely as a team,’ added Kodisang.
The Bidvest Wits forward is one of four players who were in the Amajita squad that went to the FIFA U20 World Cup in Korea last year, and would like to make a return to the world stage once again. The others are Wiseman Meyiwa, Malebogo Modise and Khulekani Kubheka.
‘I didn’t play in the last World Cup tournament and would really love to make my mark on the upcoming one, which makes the clash against Mozambique all the more important as every player wants to be at the World Cup. We’re taking it game by game, but this second leg is our route to Poland in 2019,’ said Kodisang.
‘Mozambique like to play route one and this means our defence will have to very alert at all times, we have to be very strong defensively and that will see us through to the next round.
The overall winner between South Africa and Mozambique will meet the winner between Malawi and Angola in the next round of qualifiers scheduled for July.