16 May 2019 — South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) side will jet off to Ukraine tomorrow morning (17 May) ahead of their friendly match against Ukraine’s national Under-20s to be played on 18 May.
That match will take place in the city of Kyiv at 18h00 (SA time).
This encounter falls under Amajita’s final preparations building to the upcoming 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup set to take place in Poland.
Amajita’s assistant coach Helman Mkhalele said he was looking forward to the encounter, as it will test how far they have come in their preparations leading up to the world footballing event.
In the World Cup, Amajita are pitted in Group F alongside Argentina, Korea Republic and Portugal.
A top two finish in their group will guarantee them a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament will run from 23 May to 15 June.
“We are really looking forward to this friendly match against Ukraine,” Mkhalele said. “This encounter will give us an opportunity to work on some key tactical areas we want our boys to apply in our first Group F match against Argentina.
“Ukraine are a very good side,” Mkhalele added. “They will come out fired up to push for a positive result given the fact this will also be a send off match for them ahead of the upcoming World Cup. We are expecting a difficult battle and that is what we want our boys to be exposed to before the World Cup kicks off. It will be a good test for them.”
Mkhalele also wished to thank the South African Football Association (SAFA) in their stellar job of organizing the national juniors with friendly matches against sides which will also be competing in the upcoming World Cup.
The Bafana Bafana legend also added that playing in matches against sides like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pamana, helped them a great deal in getting Amajita ready for their group fixtures.
“We are very fortunate to have played against sides who will also be competing in the upcoming World Cup,” Mkhalele said. “This helped us to gage our preparedness for the tournament in the past few weeks we have been in camp and we are truly grateful to SAFA for that.
“The team is has now adapted to the to the way we want them to play in the tournament.”