Amajita forward Luther Singh admits that they may not have done well as a team at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup currently underway in South Korea but says they have gained wealth of experience playing in the tournament.
The Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team lost their two group stage matches 2-1 and 2-0 against Japan and Italy respectively.
Before the start of the tournament, Singh was heralded as “the man to watch” in the South African attack following his exploits in previous competitions – he won the Golden Boot at both the COSAFA and AFCON tournaments, which were the build up to the World Cup.
The Portugal-based forward feels that he has not lived up to expectations but believes he has grown as a player.
“Every match comes with pressure but I must be honest, these last two matches have been a disappointment to me personally. Against Japan I believe I did not do enough but I gave my all when we faced Italy as I wanted to help the team win,” said Singh.
“Our 2-1 defeat to Japan was an eye opener – we created so many chances but failed to convert any of them which put us under a lot of pressure. I was comforted when the coaches sat me down and told me that just because I did not score, it did not mean I automatically become a bad player. This motivated me to dig deep against Italy but things didn’t go our way.”
Despite the setback, Singh has called on the South Africans to continue backing the team.
“We know that people back home are disappointed in us but we hope that they continue to support the team. I believe that every player has learnt something from the World Cup experience and playing at this level has made us hungry for more in the future,” added Singh.
“The experience gained here is priceless and I believe it will come in handy at our next big tournament. As we continue to build on SAFA’s Vision 2022, I truly believe that we can impress at the next FIFA tournament.”
Amajita have now moved from Suwon to Incheon to round off preparations for their last Group D match of the FIFA U20 World Cup.
South Africa takes on Uruguay on Saturday, 27 May 2017 at Incheon Football Stadium.
Amajita are bottom of the table with no points while the South Americans lead the group with six points after two wins.
Kickoff is at 20h00 local time (13h00 SA time).