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Zimbabwe U23 v South Africa U23

Zimbabwe U23 0-0 South Africa U23 (agg. 0-5): Notoane's charges qualify for Afcon 2019

19:59 GMT+4 10/09/2019
David Notoane, South Africa U23 coach, June 2019
Neither side could find the back of the net at Barbourfields Stadium on Tuesday afternoon but the draw was enough to see South Africa qualify

South Africa cruised through to the Afcon U23 tournament following a 5-0 aggregate win over Zimbabwe on Tuesday. 

David Notane's charges had already placed one foot into the tournament when they hammered Zimbabwe 5-0 in the first leg. 

Zimbabwe needed a better game plan to overturn the deficit, but South Africa's defensive organisation was impressive.

The home side knew they needed an early goal to unsettle the South Africans but it was Notoane's men who had started the first half the brighter of the two sides. 

The first corner of the game went to South Africa before Teboho Mokoena's combination with Luther Singh was interrupted inside the opening 10 minutes. 

Gitt Links, who recently moved abroad from Cape Town City, also tried his luck 10 minutes as South Africa played with more intent without taking anything from Zimbabwe for granted. 

Zimbabwe created a few chances midway through the first 45 minutes, but none of their efforts really troubled the visitors.

They did, however, threaten three minutes before the break but Mondli Mpoto produced a stunning save to deny Matudza Juan from opening the scoring. 

Notoane's men knew they needed to slow down and perhaps focus on protecting their lead in the second half.

However, they kept on probing, looking for that away goal after the restart. 

South Africa nearly allowed Zimbabwe to score 10 minutes into the second half as Prince Dube fired from outside the box only for Mpoto to make another great save to keep the scoreline at 0-0.

The visitors made a change soon afterward as Notoane introduced Kamohelo Mahlatsi for Leicester City striker Khaya Leshabela to try and keep the Zimbabwean defence on their toes. 

The substitution brought back the creative spark on the side of South Africa and they started taking the game to Zimbabwe. 

Jamie Webber tried to find Links with a long-range pass nine minutes from time, but the pass was too close to the Zimbabwean goalkeeper.    

Ultimately, the match ended in a goalless draw, but the result was enough to see South Africa qualify for the 2019 Afcon U23 tournament.