24 April 2019 – South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) head coach Thabo Senong says their first friendly match against Saudi Arabia gave him the needed information on his players’ individual performances, adding that his squad will continue improving moving forward.
Amajita suffered a 1-0 defeat in their first friendly match against Saudi Arabia, following a strike by A. Alghtani in the 25th minute on Tuesday afternoon.
Senong stated that his charges were just unfortunate to have lost in that encounter, adding that they gave a very solid performance against their Asian opponents on the day.
Amajita will play Saudi Arabia in their second friendly and final friendly match on 26 April at the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium, before they fly out to Poland on the very same day to continue with their 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup preparations.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament will run from 23 May to 15 June.
In the World Cup, Amajita are pitted in Group F alongside Argentina, Korea Republic and Portugal.
“We played our first group of players from the 24-man provisional squad which reported for camp against Saudi Arabia for assessment purposes,” Senong said. “The second group will be played on 26 April. It was good match and I am happy with the information I got from the squad we put out.
“The first 20 minutes were a bit tough for us, however, after that we started playing our normal game. It was quite unfortunate that we could not score and ended up losing the encounter by 1-0.
“I am happy with the foundation laid and I believe this team with will continue improving moving forward,” Senong added.
Senong also applauded South Africa’s National Under-20 debutant players in Luke Fleurs, Oswin Appollis and Muzomuhle Khanyi, adding that they gave a good account of themselves on day.
“We had to give debuts to a few players and I am happy with how the likes of Luke Fleurs, Oswin Appollis and Muzomuhle Khanyi performed on the day,” Senong said. “Our focus has now shifts to the second friendly match where we will give other group players an opportunity to play as well.
“We do not expect the team to peak early, however, I believe the team will improve as we continue with our preparations to the upcoming FIFA World Cup.”
AMAJITA PLAYERS WHO MADE THEIR DEBUTS AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA
- Luke Fleurs, Defender, Supersport United
- Muzomuhle Khanyi, Forward, Bidvest Wits
- Oswin Appollis, Midfielder, Supersport United