Both our national men’s and women’s Under-20 football sides have enjoyed success at the weekend.
The national women’s football side, Basetsana, have downed Tanzania 4-1 in the second round first leg of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier while the men’s side Amajita beat Zambia 1-0 in Lesotho at the Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championships.
The women’s match was played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and it was an inspired performance by Basetsana as they turned on the heat with an impressive performance.
Basetsana head coach, Sheryl Botes said she was happy with the result and commended the girls for executing the game plan well.
The coach urged the girls to carry the winning mentality into the second leg that will be played on Saturday, 21 December at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
On to the men, and Amajita have defeated Zambia 1-0 to cement their place at the top of Group C.
A moment of silence was observed at the start of the match in honour of the late former state President of the Republic of South Africa, with the SA flag also flying at half-mast. The players also wore black armbands to show their respect.
The match got off to a flying start and both teams missed the opportunity to grab the opener two minutes after kick-off. There were several other chances and Zambia almost punished Amajita on the 21st minute but the effort went off target.
Centre-back Rivaldo Coetzee was at his best as he kept Zambian striker Ronaldo Chibwe at bay. The match went into the break deadlocked at nil-nil.
The second half started much like the first half and Amajita appeared to have taken coach Shakes Mashaba’s halftime talk to heart. Playmaker Nhlakanipho Ntuli fired home a cracker in the 57th minute following an impressive move by the South Africans to give his side the lead.
Zambia sought to make a quick reply with a double substitution on the 61st minute with captain Musonda replaced by Mbewe and Dave Daka making way for his namesake Patson Daka. South Africa tightened things a bit with winger Fagrie Lakay coming off for centre-back Madisha Motjeka.
Things went from bad to worse for Zambia 10 minutes before the final whistle when striker Ronaldo Chibwe was red carded after a second bookable offence for a late tackle on Amajita’s Maraisane.
Zambia piled on the pressure in the dying stages of the match but South Africa held on against the defending champions with Coetzee been chosen as the Man of the Match.
ÔÇ£We are happy for the win, it was never going to be an easy match against Zambia especially because they had a great plan to us, but I think our plan was more solid. I am proud of the way the boys performed,” said coach Mashaba.
“Our plan is to get nine points from the three group stage matches, and so far we are still on track. We are still on top of the group and we will have to continue from where left off today when we face Namibia in our next match on Tuesday (10 December). We know our work is not done yet we have to keep on working hard for more success.”
South Africa now have six points following two victories (against Seychelles and Zambia) while Zambia have just one after a draw against Namibia and a loss to Amajita.