The South African Under 23 National Men's team has been defeated by two goals to nil (2-0) by Algeria at the Tchaker Stadium in Bilda, Algeria on Tuesday, 15 November 2011. This was their second friendly international match played in North African country - the South Africans lost by the same score line in the first match played three days ago.
The match was played on a wet pitch due to rainy conditions before the start of the encounter.
The Shakes Mashaba-led squad has been in Algeria since the 9th of November preparing for the upcoming CAF Under 23 Championship set to begin later this month in Morocco.
Mashaba believes this was a good test for his team as Algeria will be one of the competing teams in the CAF tournament.
South Africa was able to keep the hosts at bay in the first half with no goals from either side, but the Algerians fought harder and were rewarded with two goals in the second half.
"We played a good game against the Algerians, and the fact that we were able to hold them to a draw in the first half shows that we have a strong team. Despite the earlier downpour, the pitch was in good condition and did not affect our performance. There was a clear difference in our style of play as compared to our first match a few days ago. We created four clear goal-scoring opportunities during the match but failed to convert them. We just need the team to build self-confidence and willingness in front of goals," said Mashaba.
Mashaba feels very strongly about qualifying for the Olympics. He is aware that the CAF U23 Championship is the next big hurdle the team would need to get over in order to secure a ticket to the London.
"We really look forward to qualifying for the Olympics, I have the confidence that this team can make it to London in 2012," added Mashaba.
Algeria has been drawn in Group A along with tournament hosts Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. The South Africans have been drawn in Group B along with Egypt, Cote d'Ivoire and Gabon.
The SA U23 National team lined up as follows:
Starting Eleven: Sage Lottering, Sibusiso Mxoyana, Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi, Phumelele Bhengu, Siyabonga Zulu, Sameehg Doutie, Raymond Monoma, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Mandla Masango and Rodney Ramagalela.
Subs: Boalefa Pule, Siphamandla Sangweni, Thokozani Sekotlong. Bongani Ndulula and Thandani Ntshumayelo were not considered due to injury.
The South Africans depart for Morocco on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 where they will continue with preparations for the CAF U23 Championship.