19 August 2019 — South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) interim coach Helman Mkhalele concedes that Amajita have a psychological edge over their first All Africa Games Group A opponents, Nigeria, based on the outcome of their previous meeting in a continental showpiece.
At this year’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa beat Nigeria 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after fulltime, to secure their first ever third place finish in an U-20 AFCON tournament.
Prior that impressive feat which added to their second consecutive qualification to a FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament achievement, both sides had played to a 0-0 draw in their group fixture.
Mkhalele stated that this clash against their old rivals was not going to be a walk in the park, as it is Nigeria who would be raring to avenge their 3rd/4th playoff match defeat they suffered at this year’s U-20 AFCON tournament against Amajita.
Amajita’s Group A match against Nigeria will take place on Tuesday (20 August) at the Centre Sportif F.A.R in Rabat, Morocco.
The match will kick-off at 14h00 (SA time).
“We are expecting a tough match because, as you know, there is a rich history of rivalry between the two countries, regardless of the age group we are competing in,” Mkhalele said.
“Nigeria will go into this tie with a desire to avenge their this year’s 3rd/4th playoff U-20 AFCON defeat, however, we are ready for them.”
Mkhalele also added that his charges have been responding very well in training, adding that they are fired up to push for a positive result in this tie.
“We have been working really hard to prepare our boys for our first match against Nigeria,” Mkhalele said. “This is after our supposed first group match against the hosts (Morocco) was postponed. Everybody has been looking really sharp in training and we are really looking forward to our first Group A fixture. We want nothing but a positive result from this tie.”