24 April 2019 –South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) side suffered a 1-0 defeat in their first friendly match against Saudi Arabia at the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium on Tuesday, 23 April.
A goal by A. Alghtani in the 25th minute inside the 18-yard box was enough to give the home side the needed footing to settle in the first of two scheduled friendly matches against South Africa’s national juniors.
The second friendly match will take place here at the very same venue on 27 April, before Amajita fly out to Europe to continue with their 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup preparations there.
The first half started off at a very slow pace, as both side did not want to be careless in their defensive plays while pressing forward in search for goals.
Thabo Senong’s charges created some decent chances up in the final third, however, that was not enough to see them penetrating a resolute Saudi Arabia’s defensive side which was jealous with their goal.
In the second half, Senong made a few tactical changes which saw his side have more grounding from midfield going into the final third.
Goals did not come though, as the home side continued keeping matters watertight at the back.
This encounter was the first of the four line-up friendly matches which are to serve as Amajita 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup preparations set out to take place in Poland from 23 May to 15 June.
Amajita will also take on Uruguay on 15 May and Ukraine on 18 May, before the world footballing event kicks off later in that very month.
In the upcoming World Cup, Amajita are pitted in Group F alongside Argentina, Korea Republic and Portugal.
A top two finish in that group will guarantee them a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.