Amajita flatter to deceive in World Cup opener


Thabo Senong will need to sort out Amajita’s defensive frailties if his side are to stand a chance of surviving their group in their remaining two Fifa Under-20 World Cup group-stage matches.

They lacked exactly that in a 2-1 defeat to Japan on Sunday in Suwon, South Korea, where they looked as favourites to walk away with a win, but let it slip when they went into the second half of the match.

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Ritsu Doan, who scored the winner for Japan, battles for the ball with Grant Margeman at the Under-20 in Suwon on Sunday. Photo: Kim Hee-Chul, EPAKeletso Makgalwa cannot believe it after he missed a scoring chance for Amajita. Photo: Kim Hee-Chul, EPAGrant Margeman in full dance mode after scoring against Japan. Photo: Kim Hee-Chul, EPA

Amajita scored the first goal of the match through Grant Margeman after he received a super lob pass from the midfield, which found him unmarked inside the 18-yard area.

The midfielder easily controlled the ball with his chest and blasted it towards goal, where it was deflected into the back of the net by the opposition’s defence.

Amajita operated as a unit in the defensive third; however, lapses of concentration also saw them allow their opponents a few chances to infiltrate them.

Japan couldn’t score though, as their striker Koki Ogawa let them down, missing the back of the net on four occasions.

In the second period, Ogawa made up for those missed opportunities and scored an equaliser just two minutes into the second half. The striker easily tapped it past Amajita goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto, who was too slow in his reaction to keep it from crossing the goal-line.

And when it did, the Asian side took full control of the game, scoring their second of the day through Ritsu Doan 19 minutes before the end.

Amajita tried to fight for a comeback, but they lacked the required aggression upfront to help them find an equaliser.

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