09 May 2023 – Amajimbos have arrived in Algiers ahead of their highly anticipated 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal match against Senegal on Wednesday (10 May 2023).
A lot will be at stake in this match as the four semi-finalists will earn a place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, scheduled for later this year.
The South African under-17 men’s national team qualified for this stage of the tournament on Sunday evening after Burkina Faso beat Cameroon, a result that was enough for coach Duncan Crowie’s charges to progress to the quarterfinals of the continental competition.
Standing in Amajimbos’ path will be a Senegalese side that has a 100% winning record in the competition so far and Crowiehas emphasized that the mental toughness of the players will be key in a match he describes as a final before the final.
“If we are not ready for the game tomorrow (10 May 2023) we will never be ready. Yes,Senegal is a tough team to play against and one of our main objectives when we came here was to qualify for the World Cup,” he said. “Tomorrow is our final because that is the ultimate for everybody to qualify (for the World Cup) and thereafter we will think of the road forward. It will be a tough one but we look forward to it.”
The South Africans had another hectic schedule as they traveled from Constantine to Algiers, where they will stay ahead of their match against Senegal at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
U17 forward Michael Dokunmu, who is one of the players who have featured in all the AFCON matches, believes his teammates are in the right frame of mind ahead of the challenge at hand.
“We have watched highlights and saw how good Senegal are in terms of attacking. We know what’s coming and we are prepared,”said the player.
The pre-match training session will take place on Tuesday at 18:00.