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Amajita out to secure one point to ensure qualification
- Updated: December 10, 2013
The South African national men’s Under-20 soccer side Amajita are just one point away from qualifying for the semi-final of the 2013 COSAFA Youth Championships in Lesotho.
Amajita face Namibia in a crucial last group stages match in Maseru on Tuesday, the game scheduled for a 4pm kick-off.
South Africa lead the group with six points, two ahead of second-placed Namibia, while Zambia have one point and Seychelles have suffered two losses.
South Africa will need just a draw against Namibia to make sure they finish top of the table in their pool and qualify for the last four.
Amajita eliminated defending champions Zambia from the tournament with a 1-0 victory with a Nhlakanipho Ntuli goal on Saturday.
Also bowing out of the event with one match remaining was Seychelles after they lost 1-2 to Namibia in the other match in Group C.
The winners of Group A will face the top side in Group C in the semi-finals, currently South Africa, while the teams that finish top of Groups B and D will square-off in the last four
Meanwhile Amajita completed their preparations at a wet and chilly Maseru on Monday and SAFA Media spoke to Amajita’s assistant coach Thabo Senong after training:
How are preparations and do you have any injuries?
Thankfully we do not have any injuries thus far. The past two matches were good in the sense that we didn’t concede any goals. However the major challenge is to try and maintain what we have done so we stay top of the group. The match will not be easy, as the Namibians will come at us strong, we just have to ensure that the boys stick to the game plan and remain focused.
Some teams have scored more goals than Amajita, does this concern you?
Well, not really because we are in the group of death with very tough opposition. To play the likes of Zambia is never easy, even the island of Seychelles has proved that they came here to compete, despite the score line, they were not an easy side to beat. All we can say is that we are happy with the boys’ performance ÔÇô individually and as a group ÔÇô so we hope that we can continue with that form.
Can we expect any changes to the starting eleven?
Possibly, but continuity is vital. We should not try and destabilise the team’s rhythm, cohesion and passing patterns. We have to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and based on that we might make one or two changes but it should not affect the run of the team. It is more like cut and paste.
The squad has been in Lesotho for just over a week now, how has everyone been?
Players may be missing home and their families, but they are about to become professionals so they are learning to adapt and adjust to their surroundings. The reality is that they are at work and are representing the country so their responsibility is growing day by day as they realise the importance of bringing silverware back home.