The South African Under 20 National Team, Amajita have qualified for the next round of the African Youth Championship after an inspired 1-0 win over Congo at the Milpark Stadium on Saturday, 11 August 2012.
The all-important South African goal came in the 65th minute through Thabani Mthembu. After a goalless first half, Mthembu’s strike was all Amajita needed to make the overall score line 2-2 to go through on away goals rule.
Amajita had to dig deep for victory having lost 2-1 in Brazzaville on 28 July 2012.
Mthembu, whose goal in the first leg gave the South Africans that crucial away goal and that proved to be deciding factor in the second leg, was again the difference for the fast improving Amajita.
Head Coach Solly Luvhengo said he was over the moon following this win.
“It might not have been a vintage performance we have been looking for but at the end of the day, a win is a win,” he said.
Luvhengo says with the team to play the winner between Nigeria and Tanzania, the matches will get even tougher from here onwards.
"The boys played very well, attacking at the right moment and credit must also go to our defence for keeping a clean sheet. We knew that they would try to catch us on the counter attack so with that in mind we had to be tight at the back.
“We are looking beyond the African Championships; the World Cup is what we are aiming for. We are obviously very excited after this overall win and eagerly looking forward to next stage with confidence.
“The road is getting tougher for us because our next match will be against the winner of the Nigeria/Tanzania encounter; that will be a tough match without a doubt so we need to prepare well mentally and physically, " says Luvhengo.
Amajita automatically qualified for the 2011 edition of the AYC as hosts but failed to qualify for the knock out stages. The team will be looking to better that performance this time around.
The African U-20 Championship finals will take place in Algeria from 16 to 30 March 2013 and will serve as qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013.
The top four African teams will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey 2013.