Cape Town - South Africa under-23 coach Owen da Gama says his young charges were desperate to clinch their first Olympic qualification since the 2000 edition in Sydney.
Da Gama's young guns booked their seat to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after a 3-1 penalty victory over Senegal after both beaten semi-finalists played a third-place playoff.
The South Africans joined Nigeria and Algeria as the top three finishers in the CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tournament.
"We were fortunate in this match the boys fought hard and it's clear that the harder you work the luckier you get," Da Gama told KickOff.
"It's not how you start but how you finish. I also think we were lucky but we worked hard for that luck. Sorry to Senegal.
"The players were very motivated as they made history for themselves. We last qualified 15 years ago, now they are also going there."