2 minute read
18 Aug 2014
11:52 am

Amajita need to be at their best – Ayabulela Magqwaka

South African under-20 soccer team captain Ayabulela Magqwaka has called for a focused effort from Amajita when they host Cameroon in the crucial second-leg tie of the African Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier at the end of the month.

FILE PICTURE: Thabani Mthembu during the U/20 International Friendly match. Photo by Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

A 10-man South Africa had to come from a goal down to salvage a draw and, in doing so, bagged a vital away goal to take with them into the return fixture in Polokwane.

“I think the 1-1 draw is a good result playing away from home,” Magqwaka said after arriving in Johannesburg late on Sunday night.

“We don’t want [us] to get ahead of ourselves and take it easy. We have to keep our feet on the ground, know what we want and not lose the vision.

“We must put on another good performance and get a better result than in the first leg.”

Eteme Adamou Achille put the hosts ahead after half-time at Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde, Cameroon, before Siyanda Ngubo tapped in for the equaliser after the hour mark.

“It was a very good game from the boys, but tough at the same time. Cameroon came there with a plan to attack us, and show us who was boss since they were playing at home, but we stuck to our plans,” Magqwaka added.

Amajita need to beat Cameroon to qualify for the 2015 AYC, which takes place in Senegal in March.

The top four teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2015 Fifa under-20 World Cup, hosted by New Zealand in May/June.

Striker Fagrie Lakay, meanwhile, insists South Africa will have to be at their best to see off the challenge from Cameroon.

“It is a good draw but we are not happy. We are a bit disappointed that we could not finish it off after creating good chances,” he said.

“We have to work harder in the second leg and convert those chances. Cameroon will throw everything at us because for them it was like a loss and we need to be prepared and give 100 percent.”

Amajita will be without goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi, who was red-carded in Yaounde and has been suspended for the next game.

“He is a very big part of the team and it is a huge blow that he won’t be available, but having said that this is the national team. I believe another good player will come in his place,” Magqwaka said.

The youngsters will take a break this week, before returning to camp on Sunday, and will travel to Polokwane ahead of the game the following Sunday.