4 September 2017 – Interim head coach of the South African U20 National Team, Helman Mkhalele, says they are ready to compete against England and give a better performance than they did against Brazil.
The Burger King-sponsored Amajita take on England tonight (Monday, 4 September) at Harrison Park in Leek Town.
Kickoff is at 19h00 local time (20h00 South African time).
This is the second match of the tri-nations tournament taking place in England.
The other fixture between Brazil and the host nation ended in a goalless draw on Friday, 1 September.
“We had an opportunity to go watch that match with the technical team and what a good display we saw from the two teams. We are now aware that England will not be an easy team but I believe we are ready to tackle them. We saw some of their strong points and weak points, and we hope to capitalize on those. We are confident we will do well,” said Mkhalele.
The former Bafana Bafana winger adds that the positive about the second match is that they have had a good time to prepare thoroughly, compared to the first game.
“In the first fixture we had to quickly get going and play against Brazil without thoroughly preparations, more so because we brought a squad of players that had never played together and did not spend enough time on the training field. But we can’t use that as an excuse, as footballers we should be ready for any eventuality,” added Mkhalele.
“Our boys did well to execute the plan against Brazil in the first half, but the second half was very difficult as the energy levels dropped and that affected the whole game plan. The beauty about the England clash is that we are in a better position because we had time to work on some tactics with the players, but make no mistake, it will still be a difficult outing. They are playing at home, and will try to win at all costs more so because they did not get a win against Brazil, so they will want something out of this match. Our pride is at stake, our image has been dented, but we will go out there to compete and get better results. We are confident that we will improve on our last performance.”
Mkhalele has made five changes to the squad that lost 4-0 to the South Americans on Wednesday, 30 August.
Goalkeeper Glen Baadjies takes the place of Phillip Lesoma.
Only central defender Dean Solomons and Siphesihle Mkhize retain their places in the rearguard – with captain Malebogo Modise making a positional switch from left wing to left back, while Keegan Allen slots in the right back position.
Siphesihle Mkhize and Luke le Roux will again control the heart of midfield and will be assisted by Bafana Tshawe and Leo Thethani, who both started on the bench against Brazil, while Tashreeq Matthews moves from the wing to play just behind lone striker Lyle Foster who comes in for Tyrique Bartlett.
The players were given the morning off on Sunday, 3 September and visited nearby Birmingham for a few hours.
Amajita will fly out of England on Tuesday night (5 September) and are expected to land at OR Tambo International Airport at 07h05 on Wednesday, 6 September.
Here’s how they will line up against England:
Glen Baadjies (GK), Keegan Allen, Malebogo Modise (C), Dean Solomons, Leseane Mokgopedi, Siphesihle Mkhize, Luke le Roux, Leo Thethani, Tashreeq Matthews, Bafana Tshawe, Lyle Foster
Phillip Lesoma (GK), Lethabo Mazibuko, Tyrique Bartlett, Duncan Adonis, Brooklyn Poggenpoel, Zwelihle Mthiyane, Sibusiso Shabane, Ngcebo Nala, Dylan Stoffels
Stand-in Head Coach: Helman Mkhalele