OPINION: Amajita must be ambitious in U20 World Cup

This morning the South African U20 team found out which international teams they will face in South Korea

Amajita will take on Japan, Italy and Uruguay in Group D of this junior World Cup which will be played between 20 May and 11 June 2017 in South Korea.

South Africa qualified for the tournament after finishing fourth in the Caf U20 Africa Cup. Amajita famously beat Cameroon on the way, but lost in the semi-finals against hosts Zambia.

The Southern African neighbours of Amajita, then went on to lift the Cup by beating Senegal in the final.

The Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 had taken place at the Suwon Artrium, mapping out the group-stage challenge for each of the 24 teams. 

Goal South Africa's Chief Editor Ignat Manjoo shares his opinion on Amajita's task.

"It's a tough group for Amajita but one cannot analyze junior nations the same way you do with senior teams. At this age, nearly all the players are not household names, so you never know which country has unknown outstanding talents coming through," said Manjoo.

"For this reason you can't be complacent against anyone. There's a reason I bring up this subject. Even though I congratulated Amajita for qualifying for the World Cup in my previous editorial, they now need to pull up their socks for the World Cup.

"What I don't like is when teams are complacent after reaching their main objective. Qualifying for South Korea was our objective in Zambia, but I didn't see the same burning desire from Amajita to impress after they qualified.

"My criticism might seem harsh, but this has often been a problem that we need to remedy. We have excellent results in junior football such as wins against Cameroon or Brazil (U23) and then our teams get ahead of themselves and fall down in the next step.

"We have taken a step in the right direction with qualification. Now, when we enter the big stage in South Korea, we must learn that after a good result, we need to finish the job. If we progress, we must never think that we reached our mandate. There's no limit. If we are going to go where no South African team has in tournaments before, we need to be more ambitious than mere qualification," said Manjoo. 


Diego Maradona Benjamin Aguero Real Madrid Napoli Champions League 15022017

Maradona's Argentina face the hosts and England


Two Argentine players, who won the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Diego Maradona and Pablo Aimar, participated in the draw. This will be the 21st edition of the tournament.

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“What a draw for Argentina!” Maradona said, following the draw.

“We have some tough games, including a match against the hosts! What an exciting match that will be here in Korea, especially in front of a big local crowd.” 

The groups
Group A: Korea Republic, Guinea, Argentina, England
Group B: Venezuela, Germany, Vanuatu, Mexico
Group C: Zambia, Portugal, Iran, Costa Rica
Group D: South Africa, Japan, Italy, Uruguay
Group E: France, Honduras, Vietnam, New Zealand
Group F: Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Senegal