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Amajita Crash Out Of Cosafa

Amajita crashed out of the Cosafa U20 Championship after losing 2-1 to Mozambique in the semi-finals at the Somhloho Stadium in Eswatini, thus also ending hopes of qualifying for the CAF U20 Championship.

Amajita had started the tournament on a poor note, losing 2-0 to Malawi in their opening game. It looked like it would continue against Namibia in the second game, but after going 2-0 down, they bounced back to win 5-2, before booking their semi spot with a convincing 4-0 win over Comoros in their last group game.

Prince Manku had a great chance in the opening minute of the game but blasted over after getting to the end of Mduduzi Shabalala’s early free kick. Another good opportunity fell to Amajita in just the seventh minute, Puso Dithejane doing well to dribble into the box before his final shot was saved by Mozambican goalkeeper Joao.

But it was the Mozambicans who would grab the lead in the 10th minute, Alfandega pouncing on a defensive error, dribbling through the defence and getting enough on his shot to get past Aiden Dreyer.

It was 2-0 in the 15th minute, Mozambique’s captain Abdala rising above Amajita skipper Siyabonga Gumede at a corner to head past a stranded Dreyer.

Shabalala went close two minutes later, but Joao pulled off a great save to deny the young midfielder. Another chance fell to Amajita in the 24 minute but Omega Mdaka shot across the face of goal. But it was 2-1 a minute later, as Shabalala did well to play in Wandile Duba, who snuck the ball under the keeper.

Mohau Nkota shot straight at the keeper in the 29th minute, as despite the two early defensive errors, Amajita continued to dominate the half. Shabalala’s effort in the 37th minute was also hit directly at Joao.

Aidan McCarthy’s free kick attempt in the 42nd minute went just over the bar, while Mozambique’s life was made tougher when Calilo Traore picked up a second yellow card just before the half-time whistle.

Amajita came out in the second half hunting an early equaliser but found things tough going against their physically-imposing opponents.

Substitute Oshwin Andries shot over in the 64th minute before his headed attempt was touched behind a minute later. 

Dube’s 67th-minute effort was straight at Joao, while he shot wide in the 72nd minute. A minute later he should’ve made it 2-2, but this time his shot lacked power and Joao made the save.

Manku was denied by some excellent defending, as his shot from in front of goal was brilliant blocked.

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A rare chance fell to Mozambique in the 82nd minute, but Dreyer made an excellent save to keep Amajita in the game for the final ten minutes.

But time was up and Amajita were unable to get the equaliser against the ten men, and Mozambique advanced to the final.

South Africa miss out on the CAF U20 Championship and questions need to be asked about the preparation for this tournament, as well as the entire issue of SAFA not having full-time coaches for the youth national teams.



Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.
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