Amajita edged old foes Nigeria 5-3 on penalties after a goalless stalemate, to finish in third place and claim the bronze medal spot at the U20 AFCON tournament at the Seyni Kouche Stadium in Niamey,Niger.
The U20 national junior side also achieved their best finish since first qualifying for the tournament.
Thabo Senong’s charges came into the tie on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Burundi in their last group match, which also saw them qualify for the U20 FIFA World Cup in Poland in May.
The South Africans narrowly lost their semi-final tie 1-0 to Senegal while Nigeria were stunned by Mali.
Despite the setback for South Africa, there was also consolation for the team after Kaizer Chiefs’ young midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo was selected into the tournament’s best 11 players.
Meanwhile, Mali held their nerve in the final to beat Senegal 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the match had ended 1-1 in extra-time to claim their maiden U20 AFCON title, condemning the Senegalese to their successive final defeat.
Stuart Baxter Announces Bafana Bafana Squad For Crunch Libya Clash
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter announced his 24-man squad for the crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tie against Libya on March 24.
South Africa are in second place behind group leaders Nigeria and need just a point to all but secure qualification for the continental showpiece set for Egypt later this year.
Darren Keet, Ronwen Williams, Bruce Bvuma
Thulani Hlatshwayo, Innocent Maela, Sifiso Hlanti, Daniel Cardoso, Rivaldo Coetzee, Aubrey Modiba, Buhle Mkwanazi, Thamsanqa Mkhize
Bongani Zungu, Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane, Tiyani Mabunda, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Thembinkosi Lorch
Percy Tau, Lars Veldwijk, Lebogang Mothiba, Lebogang Maboe, Keagan Dolly
Baxter’s charges will leave for Tunisia on Saturday, 16 March, in order to acclimatise to the conditions before the crunch tie.
Amajita Handed Tough U20 FIFA World Cup Draw
The national U20 side, Amajita, have been handed a daunting task of overcoming European and Asian heavyweights following the U20 FIFA World Cup draw on Sunday night.
Thabo Senong’s side has been pitted against Portugal, Korea Republic and Argentina in Group F at the FIFA World Cup in Poland.
Amajita sealed their second successive spot at this year’s junior global showpiece after finished third at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger.
The last time Amajita played at the World Cup was in 2017 but they were knocked out in the first round and will be hoping to reach the knockout phase this time.
Other nations that will be representing Africa are Senegal, who are in Group A alongside hosts Poland, Colombia and Tahiti.
Nigeria are in Group D with Qatar, USA and Ukraine, while U20 AFCON winners Mali will take on Panama, France and Saudi Arabia in Group E.
The tournament will be held between 23 May and 15 June.
Amajita’s Group F schedule:
Argentina v South Africa – 25 May
South Africa v Korea – 28 May
South Africa v Portugal – 31 May
South African Players Based Abroad
After a difficult few past weeks for SA’s foreign contingency, it was business as usual once again.
Tau was in sublime form for Union Saint-Gilloise as he grabbed a brace in his side’s 5-0 thumping of Mechelen in the Belgian second division.
The Bafana Bafana speedster has now taken his tally to six league goals in the campaign, and 10 in all competitions.
Mokotjo scored his first league goal at home as Brentford FC rallied from a goal down to thump Hull City 5-1 in the English Championship.
The Bafana midfield man has now scored three goals for the Bees this season.
Patosi continued is impressive start to life in Iran following his big-money move from Cape Town City.
The former City man scored his second goal in two matches as Esteghal cruised past Zob Han with a 3-0 win on Sunday.
Veldwijk played 78 minutes and picked up an assist as Sparta Rotterdam thumped Go Ahead Eagles 6-1 in the Dutch Second Tier.
Phiri’s Guingamp returned to wnning ways after claiming a hard-fought 1-0 win over Angers in the French Ligue 1 to keep their survival hopes alive.
Mothiba saw little game time, coming on in the final 30 minutes as RC Strasbourg registered a 1-1 draw with second-placed Lille in French Ligue 1.
Sekgota featured for Vitoria Setubal in the first half as they played to a 1-1 draw with Vitória Guimarães.
Despite ending on the losing side, Foster continued his impressive form for AS Monaco reserves, scoring his second goal in as many matches in their 3-2 defeat to Annecy.