21 August 2019 – South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) interim coach Helman Mkhalele says his side were just unfortunate to lose their opening 2019 All Africa Games Group A match against Nigeria, adding that luck was not on their side on the day.
Amajita lost 2-1 to Nigeria following a fine showing of football on the pitch pressing forward.
Mkhalele rued the missed chances created by Amajita in that tie, adding that the scoreline would have been different had his side been more clinical in front of goal.
“Looking at the team’s overall performance, I must say that I am very pleased with how the boys carried themselves on the pitch,” Mkhalele said. “They gave a very solid performance, however, it was quite unfortunate that the results did not go our way.
“We created a whole lot of chances which I believe we should have scored from. I also believe that we can only improve and grow from this experience going forward.”
Mkhalele fielded eight new players to represent South Africa at National Under-20 level. The Bafana Bafana legend stated that this new breed of young players gave a good account of themselves, adding that they can only grow from this experience.
Mkhalele also stated that they will push for nothing but a win when they take on Burkina Faso in their next group fixture at the Stade Municipal El Mansouria on 23 August.
That match will kick-off at 18h00 (SA time).
“I am also pleased with the number of new players we gave the nod to start in this match,” Mkhalele said. “They gave a good account of themselves, though this was for the very first time they were playing together at this level.
“Our next group match is against Burkina Faso,” Mkhalele added. “We really want to win that match. There are a few players who got knocks in our first group match against Nigeria and we will sit down with the medical team to get a full report on whether they will be available for selection or not. We will prepare the team the best way we can and push for a desired win in that tie.”