18 November 2019 – South Africa’s National Under-23 captain Tercious Malepe says he is expecting Egypt to sit back in their Tuesday’s (19 November) U-23 AFCON semi-final tie set to take place at Cairo Stadium at 20h00.
Malepe explained that Egypt will try to apply this strategy in order to deal with South Africa’s aggressive attacking third, which will not be holding back any punches in pursuit for a win in this matchup.
A win in this encounter will automatically earn South Africa a place in next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, where top three finishers of this tournament will get to represent Africa at this prestigious global sporting event.
The 22-year old Chippa United centre-back further went on to state that South Africa have done a thorough assessment on their opponents, adding that they know what to expect from them.
“We have played against this side twice before in our two friendly matches building up to this tournament and we know what to expect from them,” Malepe said. “We also profiled each player in our analysis sessions and you can be rest assured that the boys are hungry to push for a win in this one.
“Our goal is to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games, and we will stop at nothing until we achieve that goal.”
Malepe, who featured in South Africa’s National Under-23 Olympic team which competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, stated that he will do everything in his power to inspire this new generation of players in fighting to secure an Olympic qualification from this tournament, too.
“Playing in the 2016 Olympic Games was a good experience for me and my only wish is to see my teammates gaining the same experience as well,” Malepe said. “We have been speaking about it and everybody is just highly motivated to realise this goal.
“Not everybody gets the opportunity to feature in two back-to-back Olympics games and this is one opportunity I really do not want to miss in my playing career,” Malepe added. “I am just grateful to be playing with guys who share the common vision of being among the top three teams that will represent Africa in Tokyo, come next year.”