10 November 2019 – 18-year old South Africa’s National Under-23 debutant Kegan Johannes says he feels honoured to have been entrusted with the responsibility representing his nation in a major tournament such as the 2019 U-23 AFCON tournament currently ongoing in Cairo, Egypt.
The Cape Town-born right-back played his first 90 minutes for South Africa in their opening U-23 AFCON Group B match against Zambia, where they played to a 0-0 draw in what was a COSAFA derby held at the Al Salam Stadium on Saturday (09 November).
Johannes, who was exceptional in his role playing alongside the highly experienced and fellow Ajax Cape Town teammate Thendo Mukumela, captain and Olympian Tercious Malepe and former Under-17 and Under-20 international Katlego Mohamme, said this was one experience he would not trade anything for in this world.
The player also applauded his teammates for working together in a match he believes they deserved to win, adding that South Africa was just unlucky not to have walked away with a maximum points in that tie.
“Firstly, I would like to thank Ajax Cape Town for releasing to come and honour my national call-up and also to coach David Notoane and his technical staff for believing and giving me the chance to serve my nation at this level,” Johannes said. “I must be honest in stating that this has not sunk in as yet. I just cannot believe that I played my first match representing my nation at this level.
“We came into this tie looking for a win and it is quite unfortunate that things did not go our way despite of the numerous chance we created pressing forward,” Johannes added. “We will continue working really and prepare accordingly for our next tie.”
In their next match, South Africa will take on Ivory Coast on 12 November at the Al Salam Stadium.
That match will kick-off at 17h00.