29 March 2019 – U-23 arrives in Angola brimming with confidence 20 March 2019 – South Africa u23 team landed in the Angolan capital of Luanda midday on Wednesday with coach David Notoane assuring the nation that they will give it the best shot to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And not to be distracted by a lot of issues, Notoane and his technical team said getting in Angola for the first leg with only two days to go will suit his strategy of getting in, play and getting out. Assisted by Kwanele Kopo and goalkeeper coach Lucky Shiburi, the u23 will train late on Wednesday before wrapping up their preparations for the first leg at the match venue on Thursday.
The match will take place at Estadio 11 de Novembro and kicks off at 17h00 South African time. The return leg will be played at Bidvest Wits next Tuesday, 26 March 2019. Head of delegation and SAFA NEC member Mxolisi Sibam said while the team had been met with humid conditions and stifling heat, the general conditions would suit the visitors. Before leaving South Africa to Luanda, Notoane whittled down his squad to 23 although he admitted, the decision to drop a few of his players was not an easy one. The winner of the match between South Africa and Angola will meet the winner of Zimbabwe v Mozambique.
The ultimate winner of this showdown will qualify for the CAF 8- Nations tournament scheduled for Egypt in November this year in which three top teams from that competition booked a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. If that happens, it will cap an amazing year for South Africa’s national teams in which the girls u17 have qualified for the FIFA World Cup as well as the men’s u20 national team and Banyana Banyana who will be competing in their respective FIFA World Cups.
Full Squad: Goalkeepers: Darren JOHNSON (Ajax Cape Town), Khulekani KUBHEKA (Cape Umoya FC), Andile MBANJWANA (Richards Bay FC) Defenders: Thendo MUKUMELO (Ajax Cape Town), Keanu CUPIDO (Cape Town City FC), Siyabonga NGEZANA (Kaizer Chiefs FC), Kabelo SERIBA (FC Metta, LATVIA), Katlego MOHAMME (Supersport United), Sandile MTHETHWA (Richards Bay FC), Bongani SAM (Bloemfontein Celtic) Midfielders: Teboho MOKOENA (Supersport United), Athenkosi DLALA (Supersport United), Tercious MALEPE (Chippa United), Gift LINKS (Cape Town FC), Kamohelo MAHLATSI (Supersport United), Grant MARGEMAN (Ajax Cape Town), Jamie WEBBER (Supersport United), Thabo CELE (Cova da Piedade FC, PORTUGAL) Forwards: Luther SINGH (GD Chaves FC, PORTUGAL), Phakamani MAHLAMBI (Sundowns), Lyle FOSTER (AS Monaco FC, FRANCE), Jemondre DICKENS (Baroka FC), Keletso MAKGALWA (Sundowns), Khanyisa MAYO (Royals Eagles FC)