Head of the South African Delegation that is in Senegal for the CAF u23 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament, Ms. Nomsa Mahlangu, has urged the players not to give up as they still have a chance of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Head of the South African Delegation that is in Senegal for the CAF u23 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament, Ms. Nomsa Mahlangu, has urged the players not to give up as they still have a chance of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

South Africa lost 2-0 to Algeria on Wednesday, 9 December thus denying Owen da Gama’s charges an outright qualification to the Games.

They will now have to fight against Senegal for third place on Saturday, 12 December at Stade Leopold Senghor in Dakar, Senegal.

Kickoff is at 18h00 South African time (16h00 local time).

“The true character of champions is not determined by how many times they fall, but how many times they rise from their fall. This is just a temporary setback that you need to rise from like the champions that you are because I believe each and every one of you here is a champion. The mission that we came here for is to qualify for Rio 2016 and it’s not over yet, so we have a very huge task ahead of us,” said Mahlangu, who is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the South African Football Association (SAFA).

Mahlangu was speaking to the players shortly after the loss to Algeria and remains optimistic.

“I want to thank each and every one of you here for what you have done for the country. We are going to replay the first match that we played against Senegal. All I am asking for is that we give it one last push, as this is the important one. We have one more chance let’s make good use of it. Hold your heads up high and do not despair because the journey to Rio continues, we have just hit turbulence but we will get over it. I have a strong belief that you can do it against Senegal,” said Mahlangu.

The South African squad returns to the country on Monday afternoon (14 December).

 

CAF u23 AFCON Results and Fixtures:

Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Semi Final:

Senegal 0 – 1 Nigeria
Algeria 2 – 0 South Africa

Saturday, 12 December 2015
3rd/4th Place Play Off:

South Africa vs Senegal
Léopold Senghor Stadium (Dakar)
16h00 (18h00 SA Time)

Final:
Nigeria vs Algeria

Léopold Senghor Stadium (Dakar)
19h00 (21h00 SA Time)

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