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Amajimbos face Brazil in final of inaugural BRICS tournament
- Updated: October 14, 2016
Molefi Ntseki, head coach of the Amajimbos, says it would be an honour to win the inaugural BRICS Under-17 football tournament currently underway in Goa, India.
To do that, the South Africans have to beat Brazil in the final scheduled for Saturday at the Fatorda Stadium. Kick-off is at midday South African time.
Amajimbos booked their place in the final with a magnificent performance against Russia on Thursday at the Bambolin Stadium.
Ntseki was impressed with his charges as they won 3-1, with goals from Mswati Mavuso, Lyle Foster and captain Luke Le Roux.
‘That was a very important result for us considering the fact that had we lost that match we would not qualify for the final. It was a highly pressured game because coming from a 3-0 loss against Brazil, we had to psyche our players, we had to prepare them very well for them to actualise the possibility of beating Russia and qualifying for the final,’ said Ntseki.
‘I think we applied ourselves very well on the day and managed to score goals – which was a bit of a problem for us if you look at the past matches we played in this tournament (1-0 against India, 0-0 against China, 0-3 against Brazil). But on the day we converted chances we created – something very good for the team. You know when you score a goal and celebrate, the energy comes back and the team spirit rises, giving us the boost to work even harder.’
The South African team hasn’t forgotten how they lost against Brazil and would like to make amends when they meet again.
‘Despite the result, against Brazil we did very well. The boys executed the game plan very well except for moments where we had lapses in concentration and gave away those goals. But we are ready for them and we will do our best to reverse the results – we can’t wish them away, we have to play them, we have to apply ourselves very well, we have to concentrate throughout the match, and if we create chances against them, we have to convert them,’ added Ntseki.
‘If we score goals we will put them under pressure because in such tournament swhen you create chances but don’t score it gives the opposition an advantage because every time they get the ball they see an opportunity of hurting you. We also have to minimise the mistakes we made that led to us losing against them. We know we are carrying the hopes of the nation and we will go out there and fight for victory since we have been given a second crack at them.’
Brazil cemented their place at the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over India in a late match – making it four wins out of four.
The BRICS u17 Football Cup is a five-nation tournament, which features Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
It’s the first time it is played and Ntseki says it would be a huge honour to win the inaugural edition.
‘In the first place we need thank the organisers for this tournament and for the invitation. This is a very good thing for the development of football for the five countries. We are all using the U17 players and this talks to development. It was an important move for us to be here, now we have to leave our mark – which is what every team here is saying,’ says the Amajimbos mentor.
‘It would be a very big achievement for the youngsters to win against Brazil. It would also be good for the country for the whole because a tournament like this is not only about sport but also about inter-relations for the countries that are here – both politically and in sporting terms. It would be a great honour to win the first edition of the Brics u17 Football Tournament.’
Russia will face China in the 3rd place play off, while the hosts have been eliminated.
Amajimbos are expected back home early on Monday.