11 February 2019– Congratulatory messages continue flowing in for Amajita following their qualification to the FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup scheduled for Poland later this year (23 May to 15 June).
The South African U20 Men’s National Team beat Burundi 1-0 on Friday (8 February) at the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations, currently underway in Niger, to secure a place at the World Cup tournament.
Among those singing the praises of the junior men’s national team are Amajimbos head coach Molefi Ntseki and former Banyana Banyana captains Desiree Ellis and Simphiwe Dludlu.
Ntseki was in charge of the South African U17 Men’s National Team’s qualification to their first ever FIFA U17 Men’s World Cup held in Chile in 2015.
“Having been down this road before, I know exactly how coach Senong and his troops are feeling at the moment – they feel on top of the world and they should because they deserve it. It is no easy task to qualify for a tournament of this magnitude especially playing against top class opposition like your Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and the rest – but coach Thabo has done well and we are extremely proud of him,” said Ntseki.
“It is not everyday that as a country we qualify for the World Cup, but in recent times we have seen this happening on a regular basis, which shows we are doing something right. Congratulations once again to coach Thabo and all the best in their remaining matches in Niger, I have a feeling that with this qualification out of the way, they could bring back gold.”
Dludlu qualified and led the South African U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay in November last year – their second since 2010.
“This is just phenomenal and a great achievement for coach Senong and his team. I would like to congratulate them for an outstanding performance so far in the tournament, and, most importantly, their 2nd qualification in succession. This proves that with hard work and dedication from everyone involved, chances to succeed increase,” said Dludlu.
“Having three teams qualify for the World Cup in a space of a year is also incredible for all. Structures that are always in place to give support to the national teams always give hope, and therefore results are bound to be produced. We must continue working hard to be great at the highest levels of competitions globally.”
Ellis made history when she qualified Banyana Banyana for their maiden World Cup and will be in charge of the team when the tournament kicks off in June in France.
“A job well done by coach Thabo with his consecutive World Cup qualification. What is even more exciting is that it has been a fantastic couple of months with Bantwana, Banyana Banyana and now Amajita qualifying for their respective World Cups. This is a huge achievement for South African football and one we can really be proud of as a nation,” said Ellis.
“A big thank you to SAFA for all the support they have given to the teams to reach this pinnacle. Gratitude should also go to our proud sponsors Sasol and Burger King for being there when needed. Not forgetting millions of fans who have been behind these teams and helped us over the line, without them we could not have achieved this.”
Amajita will take on Senegal in the semi-final of the CAF U20 Men’s Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 13 February 2019.
The clash will take place at the Seyni Kountché Stadium in Niamey at 20h30 South African time.
The winner will face the victor between Mali and Nigeria in the final, who face off in the other last four fixture.