The South African Men’s Under-20 National Team (Amajita) is embarking on a four-nation tour of West Africa to prepare for the upcoming 2015 African Youth Championships qualifier against Cameroon. Amajita will face Cameroon in the third and final round with the first leg scheduled for the weekend of 15-17 August in Cameroon. The second leg will take place two weeks later on the weekend of 29-31 August.
To ready themselves for this crucial clash, Shakes Mashaba’s boys will travel to Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast. The South Africans depart on Sunday, 20 July and will return to the country on Monday, 4 August. The first match will be against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on Wednesday, 23 July.
The following day the team travels to Bamako where they will face Mali on Saturday, 26 July. Amajita will then move to Senegal for a date with the host nation on Wednesday, 30 July. The tour ends in Ivory Coast with a match scheduled for Sunday, 3 August.
“The match against Cameroon is the last hurdle to qualifying for the African Youth Championships and is thus a very crucial stage of the qualifiers. It was important for us to organise these matches to ready the boys for battle because we haven’t played since May when we faced Ethiopia in the second leg and we wanted to prepare well as we didn’t want to face Cameroon cold from lack of action,” said Shakes Mashaba, head coach of Amajita. “The matches will help us get the boys back into the rhythm and increase our chances of doing well in Cameroon. We could not have asked for better preparations and I would therefore like to thank the Association for all the assistance in preparing for this crucial clash,” said Mashaba.
A week later the South Africans are expected to travel to Cameroon for the first leg of the qualifiers. Amajita proceeded to the third round following a 3-0 aggregate win over Ethiopia – a 2-0 victory in Addis Ababa and 1-0 win in South Africa in the second leg. The overall winner between South Africa and Cameroon will qualify for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championships which will be held in Senegal from 8 – 22 March in 2015. The top three at the AYC will represent Africa at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand.