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HomeAfrican FootballSA Held To Draw Against Congo In Final AFCON U23 Qualifier

SA Held To Draw Against Congo In Final AFCON U23 Qualifier

South Africa U23 were held to a 1-1 by Congo U23 in their first leg CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Dobsonville Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Despite the line-up packed with some of the most highly-rated talents in the country, it proved to be a rather disjointed opening half with Thapelo Maseko, captain Keagan Johannes, and Olwethu Makhanya the only two who could hold their head up high.

The Motsepe Foundation Championship top scorer Ashley Cupido, from Cape Town Spurs, led the line but was starved of supply for the most part until eventually being hailed off for his teammate Boitumelo Radiopane after the hour mark.

Love Bissila Mabiala opened the scoring for the visitors against the run of play on the brink of half-time leaving South Africa and the supporters shell-shocked and things didn’t improve much before Kgaogelo Chauke, Boitumelo Radiopane, and Mduduzi Shabalala were brought on after 61 minutes.

Shabalala and Maseko combined in the 69th minute for the equaliser and South Africa were once more on the front foot.

The Kaizer Chiefs teenager provided that creative spark that was clearly lacking as they pushed in the final 15 minutes for the winner.

However, they were unable to find another goal and David Notoane’s side will have a massive task to advance when they travel to Congo for the return leg in seven days time, when they need to overturn the away goal scored by Congo.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.