11 May 2018– Head coach of the Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita), Thabo Senong, says their match against Mozambique is very important to them achieving their bigger goal of qualifying for the 2019 FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup.
The Road to Poland for South Africa starts with a tricky clash away to Mambinhas (Mozambique U20 Men’s National Team), with the first leg second round qualifier in the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations.
“The bigger picture is to make sure that Amajita are always part of CAF and FIFA tournaments, we have told the boys it is about here and now – one game at a time, we focus on Mozambique, it’s our short-term plan, our immediate plan and after that we can start talking about other matches,” said Senong.
“But we need to be 100 percent sharp and focussed on this 90 minutes because it is going to be one of those important 90 minutes that whichever teams loses concentration will be punished.”
Amajita are in Beira City, Mozambique to face the host nation on Saturday, 12 May 2018 at Campo de Ferroviaro da Beira at 15h00.
They arrived in the country on Thursday, 10 May.
The Bafana Bafana assistant coach adds that playing away first is always tricky and half the job will have to be done in Mozambique.
“We know it will not be an easy match because two-legged clashes are very tricky so we have to approach this as a first half, the second half will be completed in South Africa. We need to make sure we are solid in how we defend and it is imporatnt that we try to get an away goal because this is what is going to count after the two fixtures,” added Senong.
“Once you score a goal or two, you will always have an advantge in the second leg, that is our priority and that is what we have been working on. And if we manage to score that one crucial goal or two here, I have no doubt that we will be able finish off the game in South Africa.”
Amajita are in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round, while Mozambique brushed aside the Seychelles 6-0 in the previous round – the first leg ended goalless with the Mambinhas turning on the style with a win in their backyard.
Senong and his charges return home on Sunday, 13 May and continue with their training camp.
The second leg between Amajita and Mozambique will take place on Sunday, 20 May at the Moruleng Stadium, near Rustenburg at 15h00.
The overall winner between the two nations will face victors in the clash between Malawi and Angola, with the winner securing their spot in the eight-nation U20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Niger, set for 24 February to 12 March – Zambia are the defending champions.
The top four teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland as the CAF representatives.