FILE - SA Under-23 coach David Notoane. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAIRO – South Africa Under-23 had to settle for a goalless draw against Zambia in their opening CAF Afcon Group B match at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Saturday.

The Cape Town-based 18-year old debutant Kegan Johannes said afterwards that SA had numerous scoring opportunities but failed to capitalise.

“We came into this tie looking for a win and it is quite unfortunate that things did not go our way," said Johannes. "We created numerous chances as we pressed forward,” Johannes added. “We will continue working hard and prepare accordingly for our next tie.”

In their next match, SA will take on Ivory Coast on Tuesday, also at the Al Salam Stadium.

Kegan, the Cape Town Ajax rightback, said he was overwhelmed by the honour of representing his country.

“I would like to thank Ajax Cape Town for releasing to come and honour my national call-up," said Johannes. "Also, my thanks to coach David Notoane and his technical staff for believing and giving me the chance to serve the nation at this level.

“I must be honest that this honour has not sunk in yet. I just cannot believe that I played my first match for South Africa."

Johannes was exceptional in his role, playing alongside the highly experienced and fellow Ajax Cape Town teammate Thendo Mukumela, captain and Olympian Tercious Malepe and former Under-17 and Under-20 international Katlego Mohammed.

African News Agency (ANA)