David Notoane had nothing but praise for Egypt after the North Africans defeated his national Under-23 charges 3-0 in the semifinals of the Caf Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, with the first goal coming in a way of a dodgy penalty at the Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday.
The loss means the South Africans will have to do everything in their power to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games when they face Ghana for the third-place play-off in order to finish in the top-three at the tournament.
The victory meant so much to the Egyptian players, who have managed to seal a spot in the final of the competition and booked a ticket to Tokyo.
They stormed into the post-match press conference to celebrate with their coach Shawky Gharieb.
Some of their water splashed on to Notoane, who didn’t take offence, saying he hopes it’s a blessing, for his side in their tie against Ghana on Friday.
“Thank God I was showered with water, which is a blessing. I don’t take alcohol.
“I hope it’s a blessing for a victory against Ghana. So we can be where the Egyptian team and coach Shawky are,” said Notoane.
“After the first game we played I said that a dream final for me was to play Egypt.
“We both collected a lot of information during our two friendly matches [prior to the tournament].
“A very good team … and from then on I told the coach, I believe your team is capable of going all the way to the final and win it if not my team.
“Hence we came with the idea that maybe the dream final is Egypt against South Africa.
“So, today, Egypt is going to the final – unfortunately, it was a final before the final.
“I hope they give the same spirited performance in the final to lift the spirit of Egyptian football, and I’m sure that’s what the people of Egypt have been looking and dying for.”
Meanwhile, Egypt face Ivory Coast in Friday’s final.