15 October 2022 – South Africa’s Under-20 coach Vela Khumalo believes his charges were extremely unlucky after they lost a crucial COSAFA semifinal tie to Mozambique in Eswatini on Friday and in the process also failed to qualify for next year’s U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The South Africans were beaten 2-1 by their neighbours and Khumalo was left to rue the numerous chances they created. The two COSAFA Qualifier Tournament finalists – Mozambique and Zambia – have qualified for the tournament in Egypt.
“Congratulations to Mozambique, they came up with a plan and it worked for them. We came up with a plan but unfortunately we could not convert the chances we created,” he said.
“Luck was not on our side. We tried everything we could but the goals kept eluding us. We are out, we are sad and I feel that the strongest team did not go through.”
“Honestly speaking, luck was not on our side. We did everything that could be done, we stretched them wide, we went with combinations, with wing play, but we could not convert. It is the only thing that eluded us. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but we will chin up and take it. My biggest worry is what happens to this talent now, but it is one of those things in football.”