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Notoane Confident Of AFCON U23 Progress

South Africa U23 head coach David Notoane feels they are on track to progress to the next round of qualification for the U23 Africa Cup of Nations after their 2-2 draw with Togo on Sunday evening.

South Africa went behind in the 20th minute when Kevin Laba opened the scoring for the hosts but managed to fight back with Antonio van Wyk finding the equaliser and Ashley Cupido putting them ahead with a penalty just before the break.

However, a late dubious penalty saw Togo snatch a second goal going into the return leg at Orlando Stadium next week but Notoane was left pleased by the away goals which could prove pivotal in the Johannesburg on Sunday.

“Overall, based on our journey coming here, the challenges we faced, one is very pleased with the result,” he said. “We scored two away goals against a team I believe we are capable of beating in South Africa. We are looking forward to finishing the job back home in Johannesburg,” Notoane said after the game, according to SAFA.net.

“West Africa is different and we had a difficult time in the second period, coming out of our own half. They put a lot of pressure on us, with some dubious decisions from the referee.

“This helped them gain territorial ground against us, but I think the boys did very well under the circumstances. This gave us a very good idea on one or two things we need to change.

“I think we are good to go to the return match and turn the tie around. The match worked out the way we expected in terms of our planning.”

U23 AFCON qualifying 2nd round results in full:

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  • Niger 0-0 Ivory Coast
  • Sudan 2-0 Benin
  • Madagascar 0-1 Gabon
  • Mozambique 1-2 Ghana
  • Tanzania 1-1 Nigeria
  • eSwatini 0-0 Egypt
  • Togo 2-2 South Africa
  • Sierra Leone 1-1 Zambia
  • DR Congo 4-1 Algeria
  • Rwanda 1-1 Mali
  • Angola 2-3 Cameroon

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.