Senegal………..3(5) ( Waylon Renecke 36’ (OG), Benjamin Wallis 39’ (OG), Mamadou Sadio 44’, Amara Diouf 55’ , 70’)

South Africa….0(0)

11 May 2023 – The South African under-17 men’s national team bowed out of the 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations after a humiliating quarterfinal defeat to Senegal at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Wednesday (10 May 2023).

Coach Duncan Crowie’s charges seemed to be in control of the game until the 36th minute when defender Waylon Renecke slotted the ball into his own net while trying to clear it. Another own goal by captain Benjamin Wallis saw Senegal take a 2-0 lead in the 39th minute. Mamadou Sadio got the third goal for Senegal to end the first half with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The Senegalese prevented South Africa from creating any threatening opportunities and captain Amara Diouf scored the fourth goal of the match in the 54th minute. He completed his brace in 70th minute and ended all hopes for Amajimbos to bounce back.

The results means that the youth side misses out not only on the semifinals stage of the competition but also qualifying for the 2023 U17 FIFA World Cup later this year.

Crowie believes it will be important for his charges to take lessons from this tournament and move forward.

“We came up against a very good team, we knew we were coming up against a good team. We knew exactly what was going to happen. They got really good wing players. Very dangerous on the crosses and that’s how they scored their goals. We knew all about it and we could not stop it and that is the disappointing part of it,” said Crowie.

“The important thing is the learning process and that’s what I said to the players. All of us are disappointed but like Nelson Mandela said, he never loses. He either wins or learns. The important part is to now sit back and not only for South Africa but for the individual players and well to say, this is what I could have done and this is what I will do next time in a similar situation.”