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Leepile says Amajita must go for the kill against Mali
- Updated: March 12, 2015
Portugal-based Amajita midfielder, Tlotlo Leepile says the devastating defeat to Ghana in the opening match of the CAF U20 African Youth championships in Senegal was a timely wake-up call and that Thursday’s clash with Mali was a must-win.
The South African U20 national team crashed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to the West Africans in a match where all-and-sundry say Amajita never turned up for the game.
‘We were disappointed by the outcome and our showing on the day; the nation was equally disenchanted because this is not the Amajita they know,’ said Leepile. ‘We were not mobile, were easily bullied off the ball and our body language was poor.
‘The good thing is that the defeat happened in the opening match whereby we still have six massive points to play for. We can’t afford to disappoint our legion of supporters again,’ said the crafty midfielder who by his high standards had a subdued game against Ghana.
‘I thought our biggest downfall on the day was we approached the match too relaxed; we were mentally not switched on and by the time we tried to correct the situation, Ghana were 2-0 up and to compound the situation, we were a man down.
‘Against Mali, we need to be aggressive, disciplined and go for the kill early in the game. That has been the trend in these games. Matches are normally decided in the opening 45 minutes,’he added.
The Tourizense FC linkman said the good thing about Thursday’s match is that no one needed to be motivated about it because coming out without anything would mean an early departure from the tournament.
‘We all want to go to New Zealand. It is good for the country, good for our families and above all good for our careers. We have spoken about this among ourselves, the technical team and we all have fire within ourselves. We can’t afford to let our guard down, not at all.”
Captain of the team, Mamelodi Sundowns’ Motjeka Madisha says Thursday’s match with Mali would be tough but the team had no choice but to throw their bodies collectively on the line.
‘It has come to that; but the good thing is we are mentally and physically psyched up for the occasion. This is when life calls one to either swim or sink; it is as simple as that,’he said.
The match between South Africa and Mali starts at 6.30pm SA time and will be followed by the Ghana v Zambia encounter.