Amajita aim for Under-20 World Cup knockout stages

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The next mission for the South African under-20 football team is to reach the knockout stage of the 2019’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

Amajita finished third and won bronze at the under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger and they qualified for their second successive World Cup.

Amajita is the most successful team in the history of South African football. The team will be participating in their fourth FIFA World Cup since readmission in 1992.

Their first World Cup was under Shakes Mashaba in 1997 with the likes of Benni McCarthy and Quinton Fortune in the team.

Serame Letsoaka did the same in 2009 playing with, amongst others, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Andile Jali.

Thabo Senong is now the highest achiever with back-to-back World Cup qualifications on his CV.

“We are very proud of the boys. I’m excited. I‘m happy. We worked very hard. We wanted to achieve this and this is the work of a collective. You know, everyone worked hard; the medical team; management, supporting staff, and the technical team. Well done to the players and a big thank you to the clubs and all stakeholders that have made this a success.”

Senong achieved this feat with a group of unknown youngsters who were promoted from the Under-17’s. He says the team’s biggest challenge in Dakar was scoring goals.

“Time was our enemy going to the Afcon. Now, we must make sure we give these boys enough time to bond together to prepare so that we come up with solutions to make sure that we score goals, because if you don’t score goals at the World Cup, then you would be knocked out earlier.”

The next mission now is to at least reach the knockout stage in Poland.

Player Luke le Roux says they are very proud of their achievements, but realize that real work starts now.

“It’s mission accomplished, but we know, we still have a lot of work to do, especially preparing for the World Cup now, which is going to be tough for us now. I think we will have a few camps before the World Cup, which will prepare us very well and I think if we get that in, we will definitely be ready for the World Cup.”

Amajita midfielder, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, says that they work as a team.

“The coaches are always preaching working together as a team and it’s possible if we go there and work as a team, work for each other we can do it.”

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