U-20 AFCON: Amajita secure an elusive world cup spot
The performance of South Africa’s national team is certainly rubbing off to the country’s other teams. Amajita, the South Africa’s men under-20 side followed in the footsteps of women’s national team and sealed their place at the FIFA under-20 World Cup for the second successive time. This comes after they triumphed over Burundi in their final group game at the ongoing AFCON under-20 championships in Niger, finishing second and ultimately sealing their world cup spot.
Amajita reached the semifinals of the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Burundi. It is the fourth time the country has qualified for the global showpiece and a second in succession after they appeared at the last tournament in South Korea 2017. The World Cup is set to take place in Poland from the 23rd of May to 15 June this year. Having qualified from the group stages, Amajita will now face off against Senegal in the AFCON semi-finals and South African coach Thabo Senong will be looking to his troops to battle against the West Africans and edge closer to bringing home the AFCON title.
Coach Senong commenting on the team’s achievement of achieving one of their milestones alluded to the fact that the team would not be complacent with their performances but rather fight to win the AFCON title. In his words he said, “I truly believe that it can be done. I think the players will relax a bit now and play their good game because the first mission, qualifying for the World Cup, has been accomplished. Now we are gunning for gold.” With Amajita in high spirits, the team have put themselves in the running for the prized possession and one can fancy them of being serious challengers to the likes of Nigeria. Buoyed by the presence of star players such as Leicester City’s midfielder Khanya Leshabela as well as Portugal-based Kobamelo Kodisang, the team appears to have enough quality to cause problems for Senegal and go all the way and win the tournament.
More importantly is the progress that the various South African national teams have made in recent times. With Banyana Banyana having paved the way and sealed their spot in the women’s FIFA World Cup, and Bafana Bafana also somewhat in the running for a spot in the men’s AFCON tournament in Egypt later this year, Amajita’s achievement might as well be considered as an icing on the cake.It demonstrates the efforts made by the various football stakeholders in South African football which have worked hard in improving the country’s various national teams.