14 February 2019 – The South African U-20 Men’s National Team (Amajita) will battle it out for bronze at the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations after missing out on a place in the final of the tournament.
Amajita lost 1-0 to Senegal on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 through defender Givemore Khupe’s deflected shot, which came from Ousseynou Niang in the 73rdminute.
The match took place at the Seyni Kouche Stadium in Niamey, Niger.
The South Africans will take on Nigeria on Saturday, 16 February and will kick off at 17h30 South African time.
This will be their second meeting with the West Africans in the tournament – their group stages clash ended goalless.
Against Senegal, Amajita played with great discipline from the back in the first half, while also pressing forward trying to create scoring chances of their own.
South Africa head coach Thabo Senong started off with midfielder Luvuyo Phewa in central midfield ahead of Nkosingiphile Ngcobo. That plan worked really well as it denied their opponents the needed room to find breathing spaces in middle in their attempts of trying to build their attacks from there.
Phewa played alongside hard working midfielders Siphesihle Mkhize and Luke Le Roux.
In the 62ndminute, Senong introduced Ngcobo for Kobamelo Kodisang who fought really hard alongside his teammates to break down their opponents in the rearguard.
Amajita started playing with more creativity after Ngcobo came in, however, they were unfortunate to concede that late goal in the match.
Substitute Khanya Leshabela almost scored a late equalizer in the dying minutes of the game, but was denied by Senegal’s solid defending.
Leshabela had come on as a forced substitute for the injured Thabiso Monyane in the 75th minute.
Bayanda Shangase earned his first Amajita cap after coming in as a sub for Luke Le Roux in the 85th minute.
It ended 1-0 to Senegal, who will now face Mali in the final.
Mali defeated Nigeria 3-4 on penalties after they tied at 1-1 after fulltime in the earlier semifinal clash.
The final will be played on Sunday, 17 February at 17h30 South African time.