26 March 2023 – The South African Under-23 side arrived in Congo- Brazaville on Friday afternoon and had their first training session ahead of their do or die CAF U23 Olympic qualifier second leg encounter against the Central Africans on Monday (27 March 2023).

Coach Notoane’s charges were held to a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg at Dobsonville stadium last Thursday afternoon (23 March 2023) and need a victory to secure a spot to the U23-Africa Cup of Nations.

Despite a hectic traveling schedule, Notoane believes the team has adapted to their surroundings in Congo and he thanked the South African Embassy as well as the South African Football Association for ensuring safe travels and comfortable accommodation for the team.

“Our travel plans worked out very well. The team got to rest and the flight was not bad in terms of travel times. The accommodation is fantastic and one must compliment the embassy and federation in terms of the co-ordination between the two entities in making sure we have the best possible accommodation,” he said. 

“We had our first session in Congo yesterday and unfortunately we could not access the main stadium as per the rules that we are allowed two days on Astro turf. We got an alternative venue which was below standard, but we managed to have 45 minutes of training there and the boys are looking sharp, refreshed and I am happy with that.

“Today (Matchday-1) we are looking to wrap up preparations at the match venue and the boys are up to the fight. We have done a lot of video analysis in terms of areas of improvement.”

The team will train at the match venue, Massamba- Debat Stadium, on Sunday 26 March 2023 at 17:00pm