12 May 2018– Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita), grabbed a crucial away goal as they held hosts Mozambique to a 1-1 draw in the first leg second round of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. The match took place on Saturday, 12 May 2018 at Campo de Ferroviaro da Beira in Beira City, Mozambique.
South Africa started on the backfoot as they were playing their first game together. Head coach Thabo Senong included five players who graduated from the South African U17 Men’s National Team (Amajimbos) – Khulekani Kubheka, Malebogo Modise, Wiseman Meyiwa, Kobamelo Kodisang and Lyle Foster.
The home side enjoyed a good support from the crowd but did not do much to hurt the visitors – even though they looked good on the ball as they were playing in their third qualifier. They defeated the Seychelles 6-0 in the last round.
Following an uneventful first half, there was more action in the second stanza as both sides went in search for a win.
Forster was the first to get a chance in the 53rd minute after his ferrocious shot was parried out for a corner by Julio in the Mambinhas goals.
But Julio could do nothing when Tashreeq Matthews found himself alone in the box following a delightful pass from Siphesihle Mkhize, and he made no mistake to put South Africa in the lead in the 61st minute – scoring a vital away goal in the process.
Kodisang could have increased the lead two minutes later and with keeper to beat, shot wide.
In the 82nd minute Kubheka was beaten by an unlucky bounce as he had Kamo-Kamo’s shot covered but it went past him to restore parity – and give a voice to the fans who had by now become silent.
Three minutes from time Matthews could have grabbed his second of the day and perhaps win the game for Amajita, but he ballooned his shot.
Kodisang also had a chance to grab the winner in the 89th minute – and again with keeper to beat shot straight at Julio, saving the day for the host nation.
Mozambique could also have found the winning goal in referee’s optional time – with Kubheka in no man’s land, Goodwill Khupe stopped the ball on the line and it ended 1-1.
Amajita return home on Sunday, 13 May in the afternoon.
They will have a training sessoion on Monday morning (14 May) at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus before travelling to Rustenburg in the afternoon to continue with preparations for the second leg, scheduled for Sunday, 20 May at Moruleng Stadium.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
In the event of a 1-1 all draw after full time, a penalty shootout will ensue to determine the winner.
The overal winner between the two nations will face the 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.
This is how they lined up:
Julio (GK), Berlamino, Leonel, Maestro, Kamo-Kamo (c), Rui, Martinho, Gracio, Mexer, Shelton, Gerry
Hermildo (GK), Ivan, Thalmo, Adamo, Obasi, Luis, Michel
Head coach: Victor Matine
South Africa U20:
Khulekani Kubheka (GK) (c), Siphesihle Mkhize, Malebogo Modise, Givemore Khupe, Thabo Moloisane, Njabulo Blom, Wiseman Meyiwa, Kobamelo Kodisang, Tashreeq Matthews, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (Duncan Adonis), Lyle Foster.
Glen Baadjies (GK), Luke Fleurs, Jesse Donn, Reece Vetter, Promise Mkhuma, Shungu Dutiro, Duncan Adonis.
Head coach: Thabo Senong
Referee: Messi Mvoutou RD Congo
Ass. 1: Styven Moyo RD Congo
Ass. 2: Yamba Gildas RD Congo
4thOfficial: Fitial Kokolo RD Congo