In a thrilling CAF u20 Africa Cup of Nations Group B match played in Ndola, Zambia, Amajita had taken what looked like a good two-goal cushion at half time, thanks to goals by Liam Jordan and captain Tercious Malepe in the opening 23 minutes.
But somehow, Thabo Senong’s boys contrived to lose a match they had almost sealed.
Senegal’s Ibrahima Ndiaye set the tone for some fightback by the West Africans with a beautiful free kick after Phakamani Mahlambi had given away a needless free kick on the edge of the box. Ndiaye’s curling free kick gave goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto no chance.
In a space of 10 minutes Ndiaye scored his second goal from a well taken corner while Diange netted a beauty from a corner kick in the 61st minute. Diatta scored wonder goal in the 70th minute as Amajita tried to regroup and find their feet.
Top goalscorer Luther Singh reduced the arrears for the South Africans with another solo goal in the 81st minute to reduce the defeat to 4-3 before hitting the cross bar in referee’s added time.
Coach Senong admitted they paid the price for defending horribly especially in the second half.
“We defended badly in the second half; we played too deep and allowed fouls in dangerous areas. You saw that with the set pieces they were by far the better side. It was a disappointing second half but the lesson came at a good time. We will now have to make sure we go back to basics when we play against Sudan this coming Sunday,”said Senong.
South Africa will now travel to Zambia’s capital Lusaka for their last group B match against Sudan, where they will be hoping to beat the east Africans and qualify for the FIFA World Cup in South Korea in May this year.
This is how the teams lined up:
South African starting XI:
Mondli Mpoto (GK); Notha Ngcobo; Thendo Mukumela; Katlego Mohamme; Sandile Mthethwa; Wiseman Meyiwa; Tercious Malepe (C); Sibongakonke Mbatha; Luther Singh; Phakamani Mahlambi; Liam Jordan
South African substitutions:
Sanele Tshabalala; Khulekani Khubeka; Siyabonga Ngezana; Aghmat Ceres; Sipho Mbule; Teboho Mokoena; Grant Margeman; Itumeleng Shopane; Khanyisa Mayo
Senegal starting XI:
Lamine Sarr (GK) (C); Jean Jaques Ndecky; Souleymane Aw; Ousseynou Diagne; Ibrahima Niane; Moussa Ba; Aliou Badji; Ibrahima Ndiaye; Mamadou Mbaye; Krepin Diatta; Cheikh Kane
Mamadou Seck (GK); Waly Diouf; Mouhamed Pouye; Pape Gueye; Alioune Gueye; Mor Nguer; Souleye Sarr; Dominique Miquilan; Idrissa Ndiaye (GK)