The South African u19 National squad started off very shaky against Galatasaray of Turkey in the Durban u19 International Football Tournament and conceded within 17 minutes of the match after a lack of communication between the defenders which saw Dogan Can Davas earn himself an easy tap in, giving Galatasaray the lead.
The South Africans dominated throughout the first half but just could not put the ball in the back of the net. Coach Thabo Senong was forced to make a substitution at halftime as Fagrie Lakay strained his hamstring just before the break. The second half started with the very same high tempo of the first half with South Africa still searching for that opening goal which was finally found in the 56th minute after great combination play. Aghmat Ceres kept his composure and scored his debut goal for the u19’s.
Around the 75th minute Coach Thabo Senong made another two substitutions when goal scorer Aghmat Ceres was replaced by Teboho Mokoena and a few minutes later Masilake Phohlongo came off for Sphesihle Sangweni.
Galatasaray took the lead again in the 81st minute from a corner kick which was easily tapped in by Dogan Can Davas. In the dying seconds of the match South Africa won a penalty after a hand ball in the box. Sphesihle Sangweni who had just been brought on converted to equalize for the hosting country.
“A point is better than nothing and I am very proud of the boys for the character that they displayed today, coming back twice is not an easy task, however I must admit that we let in two soft goals in this match,” said coach Thabo Senong.
South Africa will play their second match of the Durban u19 International Tournament on Saturday 1 August against VfB Stuuttgart at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium at 15:00.
South African Starting XI: Darren Johnson; Kabelo Seriba; Tebogo Rahlogo; Lehlohonolo Mohlabai; Tshidiso Monamodi; Zama Ramabuwane; Masilake Phohlongo; Aghmat Ceres; Shane Saralina; Fagrie Lakay; Lehlohonolo Mtshali (c )
South African Substitutions: Solomon Letsoenyo; Siyney Mtshweni; Sphesihle Sangweni; Tlou Masegela; Teboho Mokoena; Karabo Ngwenya; Tsebo Tsotetsi; Thulani Nkosi; Keletso Makgalwa
Galatasaray Starting XI: Ahmet Gul; Ali Ulgen; Yigit Gedik; Huseyin Ozturk; Kerem Caliskan; Muhammet Yesilyurt; Ahmet Demir; Dogan Can Davas; Ibrahim Demirbag; Bugra Yetkin (c ); Celil Yuksel
Galatasaray Substitutions: Bugdracan Kirmizitas; Gokhan Goksu; Cagan Kazancili;Hami Baytar; Sefa Ozdemir; Resul Findik; Volkan Issever; Ismail Sengul; Anil Ozer