The pressure is on Bafana Bafana legend Helman Mkhalele to guide Amajita to glory in the Cosafa Men’s Under-20 Championship that is underway in Port Elizabeth.
Amajita are looking to emulate the Under-17s, Amajimbos, and Banyana Banyana, who won their respective regional tournaments.
Amajimbos not only lifted the trophy last weekend, but by reaching the final, they automatically qualified for the Afcon in their age group to be held in Morocco next year.
Banyana clinched a record fourth Cosafa crown when they defeated Botswana 2-1 in the final last month.
Mkhalele’s team started their campaign with a 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe on Thursday.
“It was a tough encounter. We conceded the two goals through set-pieces and that is a weakness we need to work on,” Mkhalele said.
“My team controlled the game, and we entered the final third continuously. We created many chances to score. The only thing I was not happy about was our finishing.
“We need to go back and analyse our next opponents. We won’t have enough time to work on our mistakes but we will try to improve our defence of set-plays and finishing.”
Amajita take on Lesotho at the Wolfson Stadium on Sunday. The legendary former winger is hoping for improved results in the remaining two games.
“We are still in control of our destiny because we still have to play Mozambique and Lesotho. Those will be must-win games,” Mkhalele said.
“Our focus is to qualify for the final and win the trophy so that we can play in the African championship.”
The top team in each pool as well as best-placed runners-up, will advance to the semifinals.
The finalists will automatically earn a place at next year’s Under-20 Afcon in Mauritania.
- Follow all Cosafa Under-17 Championship action live on www.cosafa.tv or via www.cosafa.com