Amajita get a shake-up

2014-08-25 14:28
Shakes Mashaba (File)

Johannesburg - Five players have been added to the SA under-20 squad which drew 1-1 with Cameroon last weekend, national coach Shakes Mashaba said on Monday.

Mashaba, who was still in charge of the Amajita outfit as well as the senior national side, retained the bulk of his side for Sunday's return leg of the 2015 African Youth Championships qualifier in Polokwane.

"You all know the importance of this match and I cannot emphasise it any further. We went to Cameroon and came back with a 1-1 draw, a crucial away goal. But it doesn't mean we will relax and defend the result," Mashaba said in a statement.

"Football is about attacking and defending, and this second leg will be won in the first 45 minutes. The longer it stays level the riskier it becomes for us so we have to be at our best. We have to put pressure on them but also be cautious at the same time."

Goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi, who was red carded in Yaounde has been replaced by Mpho Mathekga from Mamelodi Sundowns.

The other four new players in the squad are defender Tebogo Moerane from Wits, Hashim Domingo, a midfielder with Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns striker Ntando Ngubane and midfielder Phillip Ndlondlo of second division side Izinyoka FC.

Amajita were already in Polokwane preparing for Sunday's game at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

SA Football Association CEO Dennis Mumble stressed the importance of the match at the squad announcement in Johannesburg.

"This is a very important match to the Association and to the country. For far too long we have not had much success in the junior ranks and we believe with this team we are on the brink of that," Mumble said.

"But we would like appeal to the people of Polokwane and the surrounding areas to come out in numbers to support these young players. We are all too aware that going to junior national team matches is not sexy, but it is going to be vital to give the support for the success of this nation."

The overall winner between South Africa and Cameroon qualifies for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championships which will be held in Senegal from March 8-22 next year.

The semi-finalists at the AYC automatically book their places to the 2015 Fifa under-20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand.

SA under-20 squad: Jethren Barr, Mpho Mathekga, Madisha Motjeka, Bongani Mathebula, Ayabulela Magqwaka (captain), Aubrey Modiba, Denwin Farmer, Khumbulani Mkhize, Tebogo Moerane, Pule Maraisane, Tlotlo Leepile, Phillip Ndlondlo, Sikhumbuzo Mazibuko, Fagrie Lakay, Ryan Christian, Sphelele Luthiuli, Morne Nel, Hashim Domingo, Dikgang Ngcobo, Tshepo Chaine, Siyanda Ngubo and Ntando Ngubane.

Read more on:    shakes mashaba  |  soccer

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