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David Notoane takes valuable lessons from SA U-23 tour of Egypt despite heavy defeat

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Head coach of the South African Olympic Team, David Notoane. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Head coach of the South African Olympic Team, David Notoane. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

South Africa Under-23 coach David Notoane says they have taken valuable lessons from their tour of Egypt, while he has learned more on his squad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Notanne's side suffered two successive defeats by 2-0 and 3-0 scorelines, worryingly without registering a goal for an aggregate defeat of 5-0 to the current U-23 Afcon champions.

The South Africans were depleted through Covid-19 restrictions and overseas clubs refusing to release their SA contingent of players, which perhaps contributed to the unflattering scoreline.

Despite the heavy defeat, Notoane remained positive after their tour ahead of next month's Olympic games.

"We have a few other players abroad, but because of Covid-19 and quarantine issues, they could not join us," Notoane said.

"Yes, the results and performances were disappointing, but we took many positives from the two friendlies.

"We now have an understanding of what our core players have to offer. Some of our best players who performed well in the PSL also could not make the tour.

"All in all, we have a good blend, and once we are fully prepared, we'll be a strong unit."

South Africa is one of three African countries, alongside Egypt and the Ivory Coast, scheduled to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

Notoane's charges were drawn in Group A alongside hosts Japan, Mexico and France.

Their opening fixture will be against hosts Japan on Thursday, 22 July at the Tokyo Stadium.

Kick-off is scheduled for 13:00 (SA time).

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