Head coach of the South African u20 Men’s National Team, Thabo Senong, says they are in a tough group at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, but with good preparations they can make their way to the next round.
The Burger King-sponsored Amajita are in Group D alongside Japan (Asia), Italy (Europe) and Uruguay (South America).
The draw was conducted earlier today (Wednesday, 15 March 2017) in Suwon, Korea Republic.
The tournament runs from 20 May – 11 June 2017.
"We have to admit we have been drawn in a tough group, but that doesn’t mean we will not fight our way out of the group. Playing against Japan, Italy and Uruguay is a tall order as these teams are a closed booked to us at the moment,” said Senong from South Korea.
"But we will go back home and study the opponents thoroughly so that our preparations can be spot on. We have a difficult assignment but I believe once we have completed our preparation we will be up for the task. I am, however, looking forward to this great football spectacle and I can assure the nation that we are not going there to make the numbers, we are going to compete."
South Africa will be based in Suwon, a city traditionally known as ‘The City of Filial Piety.’
Twenty-four teams from six confederations will participate in the 21st Edition of the Junior World Cup, which will be spread across six different venues.
Amajita get their tournament underway with a clash against Japan on Sunday, 21 May at Suwon World Cup Stadium. Kickoff is at 17h00 local time in South Korea (10h00 SA Time – Korea Republic is seven hours ahead of South Africa)
Three days later (Wednesday, 24 May) they will be up against Italy at the same venue, but this time will kickoff at 13h00 SA time (20h00 local time).
For their third and final group stage match, the South Africans will move to Incheon to face Uruguay on Saturday, 27 May at Incheon Football Stadium, also at 13h00 SA time.
Fellow African participants at the World Cup have also been drawn in some interesting groups.
CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalists Guinea are in Group A alongside tournament hosts Korea Republic, Argentina and England.
African Champions, the Junior Chipolopolo of Zambia, will face Portugal, Iran and Costa Rica in Group C, while silver medalists Senegal will battle it out in Group F against Ecuador, USA and Saudi Arabia.
Complete U-20 World Cup Draw
Group A: South Korea, Argentina, England, Guinea
Group B: Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, Vanuatu
Group C: Portugal, Costa Rica, Zambia, Iran
Group D: Uruguay, Japan, Italy, South Africa
Group E: France, New Zealand, Honduras, Vietnam
Group F: USA, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador