SA U20 have the edge over Lesotho

2010-12-06 00:00

LESOTHO amateurishly threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Namibia in their opening Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship match on Saturday.

Had Amajita coach Khabo Zondo been at the game at the Lobatse Stadium, he might have left feeling confident that neither side could pose a serious threat for his charges in this fifth edition of the annual tournament.

Zondo, fresh from an international tournament held in Sierra Leone, could not attend the match, but he will take the helm when his players open their Group B campaign with their match against Lesotho at the same venue today.

The Cosafa Championship comes at a crucial time for the junior national team, who face a mammoth task of attempting to emulate the 1997 SA U20 generation. That era, which boasted the likes of Benni McCarthy, Aaron Mokoena, Quinton Fortune, Patrick “Ace” Mbuthu and Jabu Pule, defied the odds by reaching the World Championship finals in Malaysia. Since then, SA U20 teams have failed to make an impression.

This tournament presents Zondo with a chance to continue fine-tuning his charges as they attempt to qualify for the Fifa World Youth Championship in 2013. However

On Lesotho’s showing against Namibia, Zondo’s boys should really not quake in their boots.

The captains, Sadni Urikhob (Namibia) and Kopano Tseka (Lesotho) grabbed a brace each.

In the tournament’s opening match in Gaberone on Friday, hosts Botswana disappointed their legions of fans when slumped to a 3-0 defeat to well-drilled Zimbabwe. Defending champions Zambia were held to a 2-2 draw by Angola in Group A match at Lobatse Stadium on Saturday.

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