8 February 2019 – The South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita), has qualified for their second FIFA Under-20 World Cup in a row after beating Burundi 1-0 in their final CAF Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations Group A match.
The clash took place at Stade de Maradi in Niger on Friday (8 February 2019).
South Africa became one of the four African teams that will represent the African continent at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup scheduled for Poland from 23 May – 15 June.
Amajita needed a win to progress to the final four of this eight-nation continental tournament, regardless of how things ended in the other Group A match between hosts Niger and Nigeria.
Thabo Senong’s charges will now face Senegal in the semi-final fixture set for Wednesday, 13 February 2010 at 17H30 (SA time).
All semi-final fixtures will be played at the Seyni Kouche Stadium in Niamey, Niger on the very same date.
In the first half, Amajita played with great intensity pressing forward in pursuit of scoring an early goal in the match.
That plan worked as it was striker Thabiso Monyane who was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Kabakimana Bienvenue in the 6th minute, to give Amajita the deserved penalty.
Midfielder Luke Le Roux raised his hand to take the spot kick, and easily converted the chance to put Amajita 1-0 in the lead.
From this point onwards, South Africa took full command of the first stanza of the game.
They easily dictated matters as Burundi struggled massively to find the equaliser.
It was only in the second half where Burundi showed some life in their play and Tthey created some decent scoring opportunities, however, Amajita’s defence was resolute.
Senong also gave Leicester City FC midfielder, Khanya Thakgalo Leshabela his debut for the national juniors.
He gave a solid performance before he was replaced by the pacy Promise Mkhuma in the 70th minute.
Mkhuma created a decent amount of scoring opportunities for the national side, however, he was unfortunate that none of them resulted into goals.
The win sees Amajita finish second in their group behind Nigeria – with both qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland in May.
This is Amajita’s second successive visit to the global showpiece event after they also appeared in South Korea in 2017 – they also qualified for the 1997 and 2009 editions.