Amajita go down to Zambia in a friendly match

South Africa’s U20 national team went down 2-1 to Zambia in a friendly international match played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Sunday afternoon.

It was a repeat of the COSAFA Cup final match in December last year which the Zambians won by the same scoreline.

Both teams were using the friendly international to fine tune their preparations for the upcoming CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Zambia from 26 February – 12 March 2017.

Zambia took the lead in the 28th minute through a beautiful header by Enoch Mwepu as Amajita struggled throughout the first half.

It was mostly the home side that was on the offensive for most of the first 45 minutes as the Burger King-sponsored Amajita struggled to cope with the sweltering heat.

Outstanding goalkeeper Sanele Tshabalala was in an inspired form as he thwarted the rampant Zambians in the first half as he made some daring saves.

Thabo Senong’s charges relied mostly on breakaway chances but on few times Sibongakonke Mbatha and Kodisang combined, the Zambian defence mopped up the danger.

Coach Senong brought on Sipho Mbule for Sydney Mtshweni at the beginning of the second half to try and kill the momentum of Zambians. Shortly after, Liam Jordan came on for Kobamelo Kodisang as the South Africans started to create some chances.

But just as Amajita were beginning to get into the game, miscommunication at the back gave the Junior Chipolopolo their second goal of the match when Edward Chiluyo slotted home as the South Africans appealed for offside.

Exactly 10 minutes later, Aghmat Ceres was brought down in the box and referee Stanley Hachiwa did not hesitate to point to the spot and Jordan tucked home the resultant penalty kick.

“This was a good friendly for us; we really needed such a challenge. I believe this match was far better than the COSAFA Cup final. I will be honest, we struggled in the first half, the heat was unbearable but the players had to adapt to that and the pitch and we had a good second half.

But once we settled in the second half, we managed to make runs, created some chances and I believe we dominated the second half. We still have some work to do as we noticed there were some gaps here and there,” said Senong.

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