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Under-20 men go down to Malawi in Soweto
- Updated: April 20, 2014
Our Under-20 men’s soccer side lost 1-0 to Malawi in a practice match played in Pimville, Soweto on Saturday.
Malawi were using this match to prepare for their U20 World Youth Championships preliminary second leg qualifier against Botswana next weekend. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Malawi.
South Africa started the brighter of the two sides and almost scored shortly after the start but captain Tlotlo Leepile’s shot went over the bar.
And they were made to pay for the miss as the visitors found the back of the net in the 11th minute through Khumbo Ngambi following a well-constructed move.
The goal seemed to spur South Africa on as they took control of the match with Malawi chasing shadows but poor finishing let the home side down.
The hosts had an excellent chance to equalize in the 21st minute after another good move but Tshepo Liphoko shot wide with the keeper well beaten.
Nine minutes later Siyanda Ngubo managed to hit the back of the net, but was judged offside.
Pule Maraisane watched in disbelief when his effort was brilliantly blocked by Malawi’s Brighton Munthali who pulled off a brilliant one-handed save.
South Africa made several changes at the beginning of the second half and almost made an immediate impact with one of the substitutes Elias Monene coming very close but lacked composure at the crucial moment.
In the 60th minute, the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Liphoko was shown a second yellow card for a crude tackle on a Malawian player.
From there on, the South Africans struggled to contain Malawi who seemed to have found their rhythm and almost increased their lead in the 72nd minute but Kaonga Chawanangwa ballooned the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score than miss.
Five minutes later, Malawi were also reduced to 10 men after substitute Mark Foyda was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
ÔÇØThe boys gave a good account of themselves and with composure in front of goals, could have salvaged the match. I believe they did well considering we only had a very short time together. But this match is part of expanding our base. This was a very good exercise for us and we are happy we played this match, now we know where to go from here,ÔÇØ said SA U20 stand-in coach Serame Letsoaka.