Cape Town - South Africa Under-23 National Team will have
their final training session in Dakar ahead of an all-important clash against
Zambia, where a loss will end their dreams of qualification into the 2016 Rio
South Africa and Zambia meet in their second match of the
CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which will be played at the
Leopold Senghor Stadium in Dakar, Senegal.
Both teams suffered defeats in their respective opening
matches of the tournament – South Africa going down 3-1 to the hosts while
Zambia went down 2-1 to Tunisia.
“Obviously it is disappointing to start a tournament like
this especially when we have so much quality in our team, and also because when
we started this campaign we were doing well and winning games,” said Keagan
“I think the loss was an eye opener for us that the tournament
is going to be tough. But we have to regroup.
“The Zambia match is going to challenge the belief in
ourselves and to test if we are really a team. So I think it was good for the
team to lose the first game so that we can get our focus correct and start
Dolly believes they have to put the first match behind them
and look to the future.
“There is nothing we can do about the Senegal match, it is
behind us. Our focus now is on the Zambia match and the one after that.
“We are all aware that the next two games are very important
if we want to qualify, so we have to start focusing on what’s good for our
team, what our strengths are and play accordingly,” said Dolly.
In the other Group A match, Senegal will take on Tunisia,
and a win for either side could put South Africa under tremendous pressure.
“We have to keep an eye on proceedings in the other match
but we don’t have to worry about what happens because it is not in our hands.
We should just make sure we win our next two games and try to qualify. If we
get six points we stand a good chance to proceed to the last four,” added
“If you look at our opening match we were in control in the
first few minutes, but did not take our chances. Senegal used the two
opportunities they got and it was a setback for us to let them score two early
goals - it became difficult to get back into the game.
“We then started playing long balls, which is not our
strength and things just didn’t go our way. But I have belief in this team.
Half of the players in our squad play week in week out for their teams, so I
still think we can go far.”
Kick-off is at 17:00 (SA time).