Keagan Dolley (TEAMtalk)
Cape Town - It may have only been a friendly match but the South African men’s Olympic football team have hit the ground running in Brazil.
The Owen da Gama-coached side defeated the Brasilia Police Department 4-0 in a practice match played in Brasilia. A brace by Thabiso Kutumela, penalty from Tyroane Sandows and tap-in by Keagan Dolly gave the South Africans a much-needed confidence booster ahead of their opening match against hosts Brazil at the 2016 Olympics.
Dolly, who has had an outstanding season with current premier league champions Mamelodi Sundowns, arrived in Brasilia and immediately got into the action.
The midfielder has not had much rest in months. He led South Africa to the Olympics as captain in Senegal last year, and also helped his club to a semi-final berth in the CAF Champions League after a 1-0 victory over Zamalek last Wednesday before flying out to Brasilia.
"I’m very happy to finally be in Brazil with my teammates,’ said Dolly. ‘I haven’t been part of the national set up camps for a while now due to club commitments, and that is why I wanted to play on arrival. I just wanted to get in sync with the rest of the team," said Dolly.
"I believe that we are a good team and that the Olympic Games will open many doors for us as players. When I speak to my teammates I always tell them that this is the time for us to make an impression and I hope it all goes according to plan.
We have a crucial few days left to finalise our preparations and I’m confident we will continue where we left off when the tournament starts. This win was a good morale booster as it is always nice to go into a tournament at the back of a win," said Dolly.The men’s side will play their opening match of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games against Brazil next Thursday at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia. Kick-off is 4pm (9pm SA time).