Bafana Bafana

Why SA U23s are going for the win

2015-12-04 13:45
Gift Motupa (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa and Tunisia will do battle to see who joins hosts Senegal in the semifinals of the 2015 CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The host nation has already secured its passage into the final four, having beaten Tunisia 2-0 in Dakar on Tuesday evening.

The defeat leaves the North Africans needing to defeat South Africa, who bounced back from an opening loss to Senegal by beating regional rivals Zambia 3-2.

The permutations are very simple for the two teams: a win or draw will see Owen Da Gama’s South Africa advance, while Tunisia must win – this is because a draw will leave them level with SA in terms of points, head-to-head result and goal difference, but they have scored two less goals.

The hero of South Africa’s win on Tuesday was midfielder Gift Motupa, who scored twice and created the other goal for Orlando Pirates teammate Menzi Masuku.

He believes his team should put any thoughts of playing for a draw out of their mind and go for the full three points against Tunisia.

“Yes, we wanted the win badly because we wanted to remain in the tournament, I'm happy I scored the two goals and hard work pays off,” said Motupa in the wake of the win over Zambia.

“I’m prepared to work until our last match of the tournament, we’re confident of getting a win against Tunisia and qualifying for the semifinals.

“We are aware that a draw could allow us to go through, but a win will do just fine for us. We must go for a win and continue the form we showed against Zambia.”

Tunisia coach Maher Kanzari, meanwhile, argued that the referee spoilt their chances in the loss to Senegal, but has urged his troops to lift their game for the encounter against South Africa.

“It [the loss to the hosts] is a match to forget and I hope we will find our rights to the next game because we must win,” said Kanzari.

The teams will meet for their final Group A clash at Stade Caroline Faye in M’Bour on Friday.

Kick-off at 17:00 (SA time).


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