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Amajimbos hold African champions Mali to a draw
- Updated: March 30, 2015
The national men’s Under-17 football side drew 1-1 with Mali in a friendly match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday.
The match was played as a curtain raiser to the Bafana Bafana v Nigeria game and had heaps of excitement and top quality football.
Mali beat the Amajimbos 2-0 in the final of the CAF U17 African Youth championships in Niger recently and Molefi Ntseki and his charges were gunning for some sort of revenge.
Mali, using their imposing physique, were the better side for most parts of the first half but could not breach the Amajimbos backline well marshalled by goalkeeper Walter Kubheka as the two teams went to the half-time draw deadlocked.
But there was little Kubheka could have done to deny Sekou Koita the opening goal for the visitors after some sweeping counter-attacks initiated from the right which left the entire Amajimbos defence at sixes and sevens.
South Africa immediately fashioned some great moves soon after this setback although in most cases, they found the big Malians uncompromising.
However, the Amajimbos finally equalised in the 78th minute through Luvuyo Mkhatshana whose header was a top drawer effort to make it 1-1. The industrious striker received a delightful pass from the left and responded by planting his perfect header past the Malian keeper.
Thereafter, it was one-way traffic as Amajimbos galloped forward looking for the winner but time ran out as the match ended in a deserved draw for both teams.