The return leg of the Olympic Games qualifier between South Africa U23 and their Zimbabwean counterparts will take place at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, 1 August and kicks off at 20h15.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw at Rufaro Stadium last week although Owen da Gama’s charges felt hard done by Zambian officials’ handling of the game after awarding the hosts a dubious penalty towards the end of the game with South Africa leading 1-0.
Keagan Dolly had given South Africa a 67th minute lead with a calm finish but with the visitors heading for victory, Zimbabwe received a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty which was converted by Walter Musona on the 83rd minute to restore parity between the two sides.
Still, da Gama’s side will start as favourites to qualify for the 8-Nation tournament in Senegal at the end of the year in which three African teams that will go to Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be decided.
“We are not going to take anything for granted in the return leg. Yes, we have done half the job but we need to complete the task on Saturday evening,” said da Gama.
As part of their preparations for the Zimbabwe return game, South Africa will play Rwanda in a friendly match at UJ Stadium (next to SABC in Auckland Park) on Tuesday at 19h00 before leaving for KZN to intensify the preparations.
SOUTH AFRICAN MEN’S UNDER – 23 NATIONAL TEAM
GOALKEEPERS: Ludwe MPAKUMPAKU (Cape Town All Stars), Ricardo GOSS (Golden Arrows), Jody FEBRUARY (Ajax Cape Town)
DEFENDERS: Tshepo RHIKOTSO (Bloemfontein Celtic), Kwanda MNGONYAMA (Mamelodi Sundowns), Motjeka MADISHA (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabo MAKHELE (Witbank Spurs), Tebogo MOERANE (Bidvest Wits), Zitha MACHEKE (Chippa United), Siyabonga ZULU (Platinum Stars)
MIDFIELDERS: Ayabulela KONQOBE (Cape Town Ajax), Abbubaker MOBARA (Cape Town Ajax), Keagan DOLLY (Mamelodi Sundowns), Gift MOTUPA (Orlando Pirates), Jino MOEKETSI (Supersport United), Phumlane NTSHANGASE (Bidvest Wits), Maphosa MODIBA (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Riyaad NORODIEN (Cape Town Ajax), Lebogang PHIRI (Brondby IF, (Denmark)
STRIKERS: Siphiwe KAMBULE (Highlands Park), Andile FIKIZOLO (Supersport United), Siphelele NTSHANGASE (Black Leopards), Dumsani ZUMA (Bloemfontein Celtic).