South Africa Under-20 team interim coach Helman Mkhalele has backed his side to come out guns blazing when they meet Madagascar in the semi-finals of the Cosafa Championship this afternoon. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
South Africa Under-20 team interim coach Helman Mkhalele has backed his side to come out guns blazing when they meet Madagascar in the semi-finals of the Cosafa Championship this afternoon. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Amajita ready for their Madagascar challenge

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Dec 12, 2019

Share this article:

South Africa Under-20 team interim coach Helman Mkhalele has backed his side to come out guns blazing when they meet Madagascar in the semi-finals of the Cosafa Championship this afternoon.

In the regional tournament that’s held in Zambia, Amajita began their title defence with a 5-0 victory over Mauritius in Group B.

However, they met their toughest assignment in the next group stage match when they crossed paths with Madagascar, whose stubbornness ensured the teams played to a one-all draw.

But the South Africans dusted themselves off in the final group stage match against Lesotho, hammering their neighbours 4-0 as they booked their spot in the semi-finals where they’ll square off in part two with Madagascar, Amajita targeting their third successive final.

Mkhalele, furthermore, believes his troops are well aware of what’s at stake, and that’s why he’s confident they will wear their hearts on their sleeves when meet the islanders in round two at Nkoloma Stadium today (12 noon kick-off).

“We spoke about Madagascar before the game against Lesotho. But we didn’t want to pay much attention to them because we had to deal with Lesotho first,” he said.

“The players knew they should have defeated Madagascar and they were so disappointed that they couldn’t.

“But presented with the second chance, I believe they have welcomed this challenge.”

Heading into today’s encounter, Amajita may have the upper hand over Madagascar but Mkhalele is not naïve in thinking that they will easily win the game, especially with the tactical acumen of the opposition.

“What I like about them is that they are a tactical, disciplined team, physical, and have individually talented players. So I believe that they’ll be a good test to our players,” he said.

“That will also help us as a technical team to fine tune our strategies on how to break them down and stop them because they are very strong going forward. So, it is really a healthy challenge that we are really looking forward to.”

Amajita may have scored 10 goals and conceded just one in three matches but the 50-year-old Mkhalele believes his players can do still better going forward.

Striker Sinenjongo Mkiva has been in blistering form up front, having notched three goals, while Oswin Appolis, who was suspended for the last clash against Lesotho, has two goals to his name.

Keagan Mitchell, Keletso Sifama, Rahim Milaz, Lancaster Human and Athenkosi Mcaba have each netted once.

@mihlalibaleka 


The Mercury

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Share this article: