26 May 2019 — Head coach of the South African U-20 Men’s National Team, Thabo Senong, has admitted that the red card on Keenan Phillips in the second half of their opening 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup clash against Argentina, played a massive role in his side’s loss.
Phillips received his marching orders in the 66th minute following bad tackle on Fecund Medina – and from here it was downhill for Amajita as they conceded three goals which saw them lose 5-2. The scores were level at 1-1 at the break.
Senong stated that it was quite unfortunate that they lost the match against the South American side, adding that they will do their utmost best to push for positive results in their remaining two group fixtures.
“It is quite unfortunate that we lost our first match against Argentina,” Senong said. “Argentina are a very good side and our boys gave it their all in that matchup. All is not lost though as we still have another six points to fight for in our remaining two group fixtures.”
“We face Korea Republic in our second group match, who also suffered a defeat in their first game. You can rest assured that it is not going to be an easy match, however, we will fight for a positive result.”
Amajita will take on Korea Republic in their second Group F match on 28 May at Tychy Stadium.
Kick-off will be at 20h30.
Senong added that Phillips’ presence will be missed in their remaining group matches, however, they have have already identified the right talent in their squad to fit in perfectly into that right-back role.
“Keenan Phillips had a very good match up until he got send off in the second half,” Senong said. “I did not get a good glimpse of what happened there, however, the send off put us in a very bad position because we began to struggle to contain Argentina in the rearguard. We will prepare accordingly and we have come here with a quality group of players and I am confident that the person that will slot into Keenan’s position will not disappoint.”