The South African Men’s Under-17 National Team (Amajimbos) has arrived home safely from Tanzania. The squad landed on Saturday morning after playing to a goalless draw against their counterparts from Dar es Salaam. The South Africans were welcomed into the country by the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Dr Danny Jordaan at the OR Tambo International Airport. The match, a second round first leg 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier, was played on Friday at the Azam Stadium in Chamazi, Tanzania.
South Africa’s head coach Molefi Ntseki was impressed with his charges but a bit disappointed that they did not come away with a win, especially playing away. “It was a physical match, and some boys got injured. I just hope it is nothing serious so they can return to the game. Our boys really came to the party in this match, they did very well created a lot of chances but these are young boys they became anxious and lacked composure but it’s things we can work on. It was also a very tactical match. At the end I think the draw is a fair result even though South Africa had the upper hand. Before the match the boys sang a happy birthday for the late President after we had told them of the significance of the day and also to get them into the mood of national duty. I must say they responded very well and I know we would have like to do our bit for ’67 Minutes for Mandela’ by winning this match and give the South Africans something to smile about. But all is not lost,” said Ntseki. The Amajimbos mentor is also well aware that a goalless draw away puts South Africa under pressure as one goal for the visitors could cause problems for his side, “Look we are fully aware of the away goal, and now the advantage is with them. I could see they were also weary that we shouldn’t score, as that would be detrimental to their cause. We came here for a win and if you ask me, yes I am not happy with a goalless draw, at worst we should have come away with a one-all or two-all draw, then I would be smiling. Now this result puts us in a difficult position, as we not only have to go for a win but also guard against conceding. So we are expecting another tough match at home because both sides also know how the other play. I am confident, however, that in South Africa we will get a much more positive result,” added Ntseki.
Captain of the South African side, Nelson Maluleke rued the missed chances. “We really had a lot of chances, we should have scored one or two to make things easier for ourselves at home. But with the displayed we showed, we believe we can repeat the performance and get a win. It would also be nice playing in front of our supporters,” said Maluleke.