Soccer sorrow for SA men in Tokyo

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Repo Malepe of South Africa and teammates look dejected after SA lost the match against  France.
Repo Malepe of South Africa and teammates look dejected after SA lost the match against France.

South Africa lost all their pool matches in Tokyo and will now return home, perhaps saving their worst performance for last, when a victory by two goals against Mexico would have seen them advance to the quarter-finals.

“It was very disappointing, especially in the first half. Again, defensive mistakes robbed us of any chance of [qualifying] to the next round. At 2-0 [down] going into the break, it was far off from us,” said coach David Notoane.

“We are disappointed to be out of the tournament. But I think we can take a lot of lessons in terms of how mistakes are punished at this level. The boys gave it their best shot under very difficult conditions.”
SA U20 coach coach, David Notoane

“We were not really in the game, we did not push Mexico. They pushed us.

“We knew we were playing against a very efficient team, a team that is well drilled in their patterns of attack. A team that is very strong in breaking down your middle. And we made those two mistakes from central areas [for Mexico goals].

“I thought second half we managed to get a bit of life into the boys to go after the game, but unfortunately we conceded the third goal. It was a difficult evening with not much in the legs of the boys after the France game, which took a lot out of us and it showed today.

“We are disappointed to be out of the tournament. But I think we can take a lot of lessons in terms of how mistakes are punished at this level. The boys gave it their best shot under very difficult conditions,” said Notoane

The coach believes the experience, as difficult as it was for the players, will stand them in good stead in the future.

“We just now have to knuckle down, dust ourselves off and face the South African public in terms of having disappointed them with their expectations in us. It comes with the game, we have to show emotional intelligence and maturity, and be accountable for the results we faced here in Tokyo.

“Hopefully the boys will take this [Olympics] experience into Bafana Bafana as we strive to make the senior national team better.”
SA U20 coach coach, David Notoane

“Hopefully the boys will take this experience into Bafana Bafana as we strive to make the senior national team better.”

Meanwhile, the draw for the rescheduled 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will be held in Yaounde on August 17, the organisers said on Thursday.

It was originally set for June 25 in the Cameroonian capital only to be delayed by coronavirus pandemic issues. The 24-team premier African football tournament has twice been postponed because of Covid-19 and is now due to kick off on January 9 and conclude on February 6.

Algeria will defend a trophy they won in Cairo two years ago by defeating Senegal 1-0 in the final.

Cameroon are hosting the Cup of Nations for the first time since 1972, when only eight countries competed and Congo Brazzaville triumphed.

The other 22 qualifiers are Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Comoros, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
Will you be voting for the same political party you always vote for at the November 2021 municipal elections, or will you be voting differently this time?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I will vote for the same political party I always vote for
43% - 66 votes
I will be voting for a different political party
31% - 47 votes
I will decide who to vote for at the polls
26% - 40 votes
Vote

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now