Weekend Post (South Africa)

Amajita snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

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AMAJITA learned a hard lesson at the right time, squanderin­g a 2-0 lead for a 4-3 CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations defeat against Senegal and need to put that to good use to beat Sudan‚ South Africa’s coach Thabo Senong has said.

SA’s U20s earned what they would have believed to be a comfortabl­e two-goal lead by the break in their Group B match in Ndola‚ Zambia on Thursday night‚ in search of a victory that would have put them into the semifinals.

But Senegal took advantage of a South African defence that was all over the place to roar back with four goals in the 25 minutes from the change rooms.

A solo effort from Luther Singh (pictured) pulled one back for Amajita in the final 10 minutes‚ and substitute Teboho Mokoena hit the crossbar in injury time in a pulsating match-up.

Now South Africa‚ having beaten Cameroon 3-1 in their opening game‚ must beat last-placed Sudan in Lusaka tomorrow to progress to the semis and qualify for the Fifa U20 World Cup in May.

“It was a good match and congratula­tions to Senegal for winning the game. We obviously defended badly‚ especially just after the break‚” Senong said.

“We encouraged the boys to concentrat­e on the game – not to lose focus. But we started to play too deep and to commit fouls in dangerous areas.

“And then we allowed Senegal to score one goal with a set piece‚ and of course we started to absorb the pressure that we ended up being under.

“And it didn’t help us that a lot of our players made mistakes‚ especially our defence. It was a disappoint­ing second half.” – TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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