Make or break for Amajita

2011-12-06 07:14

The South African Under-20 soccer team will have all to play for to secure a place in the last four of the Metropolitan Cosafa U-20 Championships, having lost the ground in the bid with a stalemate against Tanzania on Sunday.

The 1-1 draw against the East Africans guests means Amajita must unchain all their dogs of war if they harbour any hopes of eliminating the defending champions Zambia in their final group match today to reach their first final in two years.

Amajita were knocked out in the first round last year in the annual Southern region tournament.

And in their last meeting with South Africa, Zambia beat Amajita 4-3 at an invitation tournament in Angola in August last year.

But hope was instilled back into the Amajita side that has had three coaches in a space of a year with an ideal start to the competition they won in 2008.

Now under the guidance of another caretaker coach Solly Luvhengo, Amajita nailed Mauritius 4-0 in their opening match but played a catch-up yesterday to force a draw in a game the upright also came to their rescue.

Thabani Mthembu cancelled out Rashid Issa’s goal the Tanzanian captain scored direct from a corner kick inside the opening quarter.

On the flip side, the Zambians turned the tables on their not-so-ideal start en route to a 4-0 demolition of Mauritius at Molepolole Sports Complex last night.

Luvhengo admitted that the junior Chipolopolo will be a tough nut to crack and if there was anything he would have gathered was that unlike South Africa, the Zambia have the ability to take a crack at goal from long range and their running off the ball is another aspect to worry about.

And in full-back Malan Gondwe, Zambia is blessed with the best thrower of the ball in the mold of Stoke City defender Rory Delap whose ability to throw is regarded as a free kick.

The South Africans are on top of Group C while the Zambians are place second, equal on four points.

A winner between the two sides will seal the deal and progress to the semifinals on Thursday.

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