1 June 2019 – Head coach of the South African U-20 Men’s National Thabo Senong, has admitted that he is quite disappointed that his side did not manage to progress into the knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, adding that his charges will grow from this experience.

Senong, however, expressed that he was pleased with how they performed in their final Group F match against Portugal where they showed great fighting spirit in that match.

Amajita held Portugal to a 1-1 draw – a result that led to both South Africa and the Europeans not to progress to the next round of the competition.

“We were pitted in a tough group I must be honest,” Senong said. “This is was a great platform for our players to continue with their development and I hope they will take this experience back to their respective clubs and continue growing from there.”

The U-20 mentor heaped praise on his goalkeeper and captain, Khulekani Kubheka, saying he kept his side in the match with his performance in goals.

“Our goalkeeper (Kubheka) performed really well in our match against Portugal,” Senong added. “He has been a pillar of strength for this team and I am really happy with how he fought for the team on the night. He gave a very solid performance and he is my man-of-the-match against Portugal.”

Senong also congratulated Mali, Nigeria and Senegal for progressing into the knockout rounds.

“I would like to congratulate Mali, Senegal and Nigeria for qualifying for the next round, they have done really well and we wish them the best of luck in the tournament.”

Senong’s charges are expected to land at OR Tambo International Airport at 05h20 on Sunday, 2 June.