7 September 2019 — South Africa will not take Zimbabwe lightly when these two nations meet in their third round, second leg 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier tie in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on Tuesday, 10 September. 

This is according to South Africa’s National Under-23 head coach David Notoane, who stated though he is happy with his charges’ impressive 5-0 winning result’s first leg tie against their neighbours, his players cannot afford to be complacent going into their second leg meeting. 

That match will kick-off at 15h00. 

“We are happy to have scored these amount of goals in this first leg tie,” Notoane said. “However, this is only but a comfortable lead going into the second leg match that we will have to win away from home as well. There are many documented stories in football where a team lost a round of a tournament, after having secured a comfortable lead going into the in their second leg meeting. We cannot afford to make the same mistake thinking that the job is done in this round, while it is not.

“This is one error we need to guard against going into the second leg match against Zimbabwe.” 

Notoane also stated that qualifying for this year’s U-23 AFCON tournament will serve as a perfect platform for his players to showcase their talents, and possibly graduate into South Africa’s senior men’s team, Bafana Bafana, in a year or two. 

“Our objective has been clear from the beginning,” Notoane said. “And that is we want to qualify for this year’s U-23 AFCON tournament set to take place in Egypt and push for a spot in next year’s Tokyo 2022 Olympics. A top three finish in this year’s U-23 AFCON will give us that. 

“It is also our objective to see these boys graduating into the senior men’s team in line with SAFA’s Vision 2022,” Notoane added. “This is now their opportunity to raise their hand and affirm that they want to form part of that vision.

“I am also happy with how the boys responded both tactically and psychologically on pitch in our match against Zimbabwe.”