Amajita begin World Cup bid
The bid for places at next year’s Under-20 World Cup in Turkey continues across Africa this weekend with South Africa making their entry into the competition.
Amajita play away in Brazzaville in the first leg of their second round tie against Congo on Saturday with the return leg to come in a fortnight’s time.
South Africa did not have to play in the first round of the preliminaries in April, given a bye in the second stage, but there is still a long road to travel to qualify for the world championships.
To stand any chance of making the U-20 World Cup for only the third time they will have to get past either Nigeria or Tanzania in the next round and then navigate a place in the top four finishers at next March’s African Youth Championships in Algeria.
The South Africans, coached by Solly Luvhengo, had a good warm-up at the Cape Town tournament in May, where they beat the Nigerians, Ghana and Japan and also put up good showing against quality opposition like Argentina and Brazil.
“We have been working on trying to get the team to play as a unit as we have not been together since the tournament in May in Cape Town,” Luvhengo said.
“Our opponents are a closed book, but we have prepared well for Saturday. The important thing is that the players are in good spirits, and I believe they have what it takes to do well,” he added in a statement.
There are a total of 13 ties this week at the second round, first leg stage.
The second leg of the Amajita tie will be played on August 11 in Bloemfontein.
South Africa’s only previous appearances at the U-20 World Cup came in Malaysia in 1997 and Egypt in 2009.