World Cup waits for SA champs
If Amajita beat Sudan this afternoon, they also book a berth in the Afcon semifinals
Going to their final CAF Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations, the South African national team know what to do in Zambia this afternoon: beat Sudan. They will then not only go through to the Fifa Under-20 World Cup, but also to the Afcon semifinals. Amajita’s fate is in their own hands and a victory this afternoon will guarantee them a spot in Korea later in the year.
But Thabo Senong’s charges made life difficult for themselves after throwing away a healthy 2-0 lead at half-time on Thursday to eventually lose 4-3 to a determined Senegal.
But it is not the end of the world for them as they can still redeem themselves against a Sudan side that lost 4-1 to Cameroon.
After starting the tournament on a high by beating Cameroon 3-1 in their opening game, Amajita were let down by some poor defending as complacency crept in against Senegal.
They led 2-0 going into the break, but Senegal rallied back in the second half to score four goals.
Amajita now find themselves in second spot – a point behind Senegal – and should avoid defeat against Sudan. But even a draw could be enough if Senegal beat Cameroon in the other Group B match.
The two west African teams will cancel each other out as the victors of this game will book a place in the semis and also a ticket to Korea.
The South Africans are now likely to finish as runners-up, which means they will play against the hosts in the semifinals.
But Amajita have what it takes to make it through against Sudan, who could still make it to the semis with a win over the South Africans.
With a point from a draw in their opening game against Senegal, Sudan will go to four if they beat South Africa and hope Senegal beat Cameroon.
Senong will once again rely on the likes of Luther Singh, who has four goals under his belt so far, and Phakamani Mahlambi, who missed the 3-1 victory over Cameroon last Sunday.
The speedy young Bidvest Wits player will leave the camp immediately after this game to prepare for the Students’ CAF Champions League clash with Egyptian giants Al Ahly at the weekend.
He was only released for the group stages of the tournament and will miss Amajita’s semifinal clash, if they make it. But he would have helped them to qualify for the World Cup anyway.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT Tercious Malepe and his team-mates have a chance of qualifying for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup