11 October 2019 – Under/23 coach David Notoane said he was happy with the team’s practice match against hosts Egypt which ended in a 1-1 draw at Ismailia Stadium in the coastal city of Ismailia.
The two teams will meet again but now in a friendly international match on Sunday and that match kicks off at 20h00. Sunday’s game has been moved from the Red Sea city of Ismailia to Cairo International Stadium.
In Friday’s practice game, Egypt striker Ahmed Rayan gave the hosts a 10th minute lead when he drove a low shot past Mondli Mpoto but captain Tercious Malepe equalised from the spot with 5 minutes to go. With South Africa trailing 1-0 and piling pressure, Luther Singh was hacked in the box leaving the referee with no option but to award a penalty. Malepe made no mistake from the box.
The tough tackling captain could have given the visitors a good lead two minute later after an Egyptian defender had used hands to stop the ball in the box in the 87th minute, but this time blazed his effort over the bar.
Both teams used almost all 22 available players as both tried to see their best options ahead of the upcoming u23 AFCON tournament in November. Egypt are Group A, together with Mali, Cameroon and Ghana while South Africa are in Group B with Zambia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
“While the result was not of paramount importance, I think the draw was a fair result and I was very impressed with how we played our normal attacking game towards the end of the match. We however, need to convert most of our chances but this is something we can rectify going forward,” said Notoane.
The SA u23 Olympic Team coach said he was looking forward to Sunday’s official international friendly match where both teams are set to go at each other.