SA U23 mentor Owen Da Gama said he was looking beyond Zimbabwe after watching his side dismantle a visiting Rwanda National team 2-0 in a practice game at UJ Stadium on Tuesday night.
Two first half goals by in form Keagan Dolly and Siphiwe Khambule gave Da Gama’s high fliers a perfect night as the bigger and older Rwandans chased shadows the whole evening.
“This was an almost perfect showing from the boys; they are gelling at the right time ahead of Saturday’s game and I am impressed by the all round performance of most of the players.
“I am looking beyond Zimbabwe and the 8-Nation tournament in Senegal. It has been a while since South Africa were last at the Olympics and I think this team has what it takes to go all the way. They are showing hunger, purpose and determination to achieve something for the country and their careers,” he added.
The U23 play Zimbabwe on Saturday night at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in the return leg after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw at Rufaro Stadium a fortnight ago. The Saturday game kicks off at 20h15.
“I don’t want to dwell on the Zimbabwe game at Rufaro; that was the first half, now we are heading into the final critical phase on Saturday and I am relishing the prospect of that game.”
Da Gama has also praised the Premier Soccer League for releasing all the players he needs for the second leg.
“I would like to thank the entire PSL set up and in particular the clubs that released their players, the Chairman of the league and our Technical Director Neil Tovey for ensuring we have all the material we need for the second leg,’ said Da Gama.