10 September 2019 –The South African U-23 Men’s National Team has qualified for the 2019 CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations set to take place in Egypt from 8 – 22 November.
David Notoane’s charges achieved this feat after playing to a goalless draw against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on Tuesday afternoon (10 September) in the second leg third round of the AFCON qualifiers – winning 5-0 on aggregate following a 5-0 victory in the first leg played on Friday, 6 September at Orlando Stadium.
The top three finishers in Egypt will represent the African continent at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.
For the second leg, Notoane made five changes to the squad that started in the home fixture – giving a start to Gift Links, Jemondre Dickens, Khanya Leshabela, Kabelo Seriba and Siyabonga Ngezana.
The South Africans were strong defensively, denying any scoring opportunities to their opponents, while applying pressure of their own.
The visitors could have been two goals up in the first 20 minutes of the match had it not been for the alertness of Zimbabwe goalkeeper, Nelson Chadya, who was quick enough to react from his line to deny South Africa.
The first chance came in the 10thminute when Teboho Mokoena played a long ball to Luther Singh who was charging his way into the 18-yard box, but Chadya moved quickly to avert danger by leaping for the ball before Singh could control it.
Nine minutes later Chadya pulled off a heroic save to deny Aarhus GF’s midfielder Gift Links a scoring opportunity following his shot on the edge of the box.
In the second half, Zimbabwe played with more aggression in search of goals, but South Africa was resolute in defence, with goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto also in his element to stop any danger.
The South African Olympics team returns home on Wednesday afternoon (11 September).
They are expected to land in Johannesburg at 14h45.