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Amajita crash to second defeat at African Championships
- Updated: March 13, 2015
South Africa will go no further in the CAN U20 African Youth Football Championships in Senegal after going down 2-1 to Mali in Saly on Thursday afternoon.
Amajita conceded two late soft goals as they lost for the second time. Their first game saw them losing to Ghana.
Ghana beat Zambia 2-1 in the late game, meaning South Africa are bottom of the log after two of their three pool games with no points.
After taking the lead through a Motjeka Madisha penalty on the 72nd minute, some goalkeeping blunders by otherwise reliable goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi allowed Mali to come back into the match through a double strike by substitute Hamidu Traore.
It was a painful defeat for Amajita after much had been expected of them going into this tournament.
Scorching heat almost made constructive play impossible in the opening 45 minutes but it was the Malians who made the early running.
Amajita’s Ayabulela Magqwaka gave away position in the fifth minute but fortunately saw Malick Toure’s effort going horribly over the bar as Mali fired some warning shots. The same player again blasted the ball wide two minutes later as South Africa’s defence continued to leave gaping holes at the back.
Typical of West African sides, the Malians used their physical strength in the opening minutes to impose themselves on the ball.
With the temperature hovering around the 40 degree Celsius mark, both teams started to give away possession as clear-cut chances became a rarity.
Pule Maraisane then had a nasty challenge from Hamidou Maiga which required him to receive some medical attention as Libyan referee Mohamed Omara continued to flash yellow cards.
In the 37th minute, Madisha’s header from the corner kick went wide as South Africa started to fashion some chances.
Dumisani Zuma’s shot in the 40th minute was too weak to trouble the Malian keeper as the relentless heat threatened to spoil the party.
Mali were the first to get a corner kick in the second half and moments later Msibi was beaten to the ball but captain Ichaka Diarra’s header went narrowly wide as Amajita breathed a sigh of relief.
Amajita were again caught with numbers on the break in the 53rd minute but captain Madisha saved the situation.
Tlotlo Leepile then came in for Pule Maraisane who apart from carrying a head injury and a yellow card, was not at his usual best. Tshidiso Monamodi also came for injured Haashim Domingo.
Madisha then put South Africa ahead in the 72nd minute after Zuma was brought down in the box to make it 1-0.
Mali made it 1-1 through a long range looping shot by substitute Traore although Msibi could have done better.
Mali then took the lead (2-1) in the 86th minute through Traore who again took advantage of indecisiveness of Msibi in goals.
South Africa’s final pool match will be against Zambia on Sunday.