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Amajita mourn Madiba ahead of Zambian clash
- Updated: December 7, 2013
The South African Under-20 men’s soccer side mourned the loss of former SA President Nelson Mandela as they faced up for their second match of the 2013 COSAFA U20 Youth Championships currently underway in Lesotho.
Amajita take on defending champions Zambia on Saturday in what is seen as the clash of the titans. The match will take place at the Maseru Stadium (kick-off 5pm).
South Africa are fresh from a resounding 4-0 victory over the Seychelles in their opening match, while Zambia played to a 2-all draw against Namibia.
ÔÇ£The first match is all in the past, we started well and we want continue that way. This match is important for us to keep the momentum of our win going, and six points is key for us to keep alive the chances of qualifying for the semi-finals because only the top teams go through,ÔÇØ said South Africa coach Shakes Mashaba.
ÔÇ£We are facing very tough opponents, who are also the defending champions but I believe we can do well if we continue from where we started.ÔÇ£
Mashaba’s charges will play on the same as their women counterparts who are out in Tanzania for a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
“We would also like to wish our female counter-parts Basetsana, the u20 National team, all the best as they take on Tanzania in the quest to qualify for the FIFA u20 World Cup in Canada early next year. We know they are capable of coming back with positive results so they can finish the job at home,ÔÇØ added Mashaba.
Meanwhile the team also took time to mourn the loss of former South African State President, Dr Nelson Mandela.
ÔÇ£Tata Madiba was the father of our nation, and we want to dedicate this match to him, not just this match against Zambia but we also want to lift the COSAFA Championship’s trophy on the 14 December 2013 in loving memory of Tata Madiba who ensured that we as a continent can unite through sport,ÔÇØ said goalkeeper Jody February.
“Through football we can celebrate who we are and Madiba made sure that this became a reality during his time. Madiba formed part of the team that brought us the first ever FIFA World Cup to Africa, he was there when the Springboks won the world cup in 1995, and also during Bafana Bafana’s AFCON victory in 1996. All we can do as the future of South African sport, is to carry on the legacy that Madiba left us,ÔÇØ said Amajita defender Tebogo Moerane.
ÔÇ£Nelson Mandela was no ordinary man, he is the founder of the Democratic Republic of South Africa, no man can measure to the icon that Nelson Mandela is, he loved South Africa,ÔÇØ concluded Mashaba.
Messages of support to the South Africans also came from the other participating teams in the COSAFA Cup.
ÔÇ£Mandela was known to everyone in all corners of the continent and the world, thus everyone is feeling the pain of losing Africa’s icon. May you cherish the life and works of Tata Madiba, and continue his legacy,ÔÇØ said officials of Namibia, Angola and Seychelles.