Soccer juniors leave Botswana reeling

Jonty Mark

The South African under-17 soccer team demolished Botswana 4-0 in a friendly at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday - and it could easily have been by more.

The game was played over two halves of 40 minutes in which wave after wave of South African attack poured on the Botswana goal. In the first half, Patrick Reolton could have scored three times within the space of three minutes.

In the 15th and 16th minutes, he hit the post and the crossbar. After 18 minutes, when the goal was wide open, he somehow contrived to put the ball wide.

On the half-hour, South Africa finally hit the back of the net. A free kick was curled in from the left and Steven Pienaar stole a yard on his marker to head in past Joseph Maposa in the Botswana goals.

In first half injury time, Reolton got rewards for his hard work when he turned Pienaar's pass into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 at half-time.

The second half was a rather more drab affair, although South Africa did manage two more goals. On 51 minutes, the excellent Pienaar laid on an easy tap in for substitute Sibosiso Mzizi.

In the 65th minute, Pienaar grabbed his second on the day when given a seeming eternity to control and line up his shot inside the box.

In the earlier South African under-14 match, also against Botswana, South Africa won 3-2. The home sides goals were scored by Innocent Bhengul, Juan Mans and Thabo Letsoola.


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