The South African Under-20 bounced back from their defeat to Argentina in scintillating style with a 2-0 win over Ghana in an 8-Nation International tournament game played at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Ghana had looked a very strong side in their 3-2 win over Nigeria at Athlone on Friday, but couldn’t come anywhere near to replicating that performance, finding themselves surprised by the purpose and intensity of the home side, who were outstanding on the day and could even have won by three or four goals.
It was South Africa who dominated the first half, by far enjoying the better and more frequent chances on goal, and their two goal lead at half time was well deserved.
Despite Amajita’s inferiority in terms of physical stature, a spirited and lively display by Solly Luvhengo’s side saw them putting the Ghana goal under threat.
The host nation had the first opportunity of the match in the eighth minute when Snethemba Ngidi fired a free kick inches over the bar.
A minute later Andile Nqabeni had an even better chance to put Amajita ahead, but from 10-yards out in front of goal he shot straight at goal-keeper Felix Annan.
Midway through the stanza the west Africans started to show some threat in front of goal, but managed no better than a couple of half chances as Moro Ibrahim had a shot deflected marginally wide and also got a header on target.
In the 34th minute the home side were unfortunate not get on the score-sheet when Ebrahim Seedat’s shot found its way to Thabani Thembu, but the Ghanaians were able to scramble the ball off their line.
South Africa finally got the goal their play deserved when in the 38th minute Ngidi’s angled free kick was headed in by Thembu; his second goal of the tournament.
Five minutes later and Amajita were celebrating again as they doubled their lead.
Bidvest Wits’ Junior Sibande was the scorer, netting from close range after a goalmouth scramble had come about after Annan had spilled a cross.
The second half remained intense and fast-paced like the first, the difference this time though that the Black Satellites were far more dangerous on attack.
It was Amajita however who could have netted the first goal of the second stanza when Thembu found himself in on goal, but from the edge of the box his low drive was well saved by Annan.
In the 55th minute the home team were fortunate to escape conceding a goal as Fatawu Abdul struck the base of the post, the rebound falling to Benjamin Annan-Fadi, who shot straight at goal-keeper Lebo Ngubeni.
The South Africans though always appeared to be good for a third goal and were able to carve open the Ghana defence with relative ease.
Ngidi was the main instigator, the diminutive SuperSport player twice setting up chances in quick succession around the hour mark, but both Thembu and Jerruy Mxabo failed to make use of the opportunities that came their way.
With 10 minutes to go Ngidi again showed his class when a mazy run took him past several` defenders and into the box, but he then elected the wrong option in trying to pick out a team-mate instead of shooting.
Ghana pushed hard for a goal late on, but South Africa were able to hold on without conceding - the clean sheet yet another positive aspect to a fantastic day.