(By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe)
SOUTH Africa U-20 coach Thabo Senong says his team is ready to face any team in the final. And Angola coach Pedro Valdemer says the wet weather partly played a role in his team’s shortcomings in important moments of the match. Defending champions South Africa have once again reached the final of the Mopani/COSAFA cup after edging Angola 1-0 in a thrilling semi-final at Nkana stadium yesterday.
Hotshot striker Lyle Forster scored the all-important goal to send the defending champions into another final.
The ‘Amajita’, who have been sweeping teams away in the group stage, struggled against the young Angolans who were determined to reach the final which they have failed since 2011 when they lost 2-1 to Zambia.
It was a proud moment for Senong’s boys who have reached the final for the fourth consecutive time in the tournament.
“It was very tough, Angola were determined and better technically, but today we were really tested. Now we are looking forward to the final. To be honest, we needed this kind of opposition as we prepare for the AfCON next year,” Senong said.
“It’s a proud moment for us as coaches as we reach the final again. We want to make Amajita a brand. We want to dominate the continent at junior level as well as the region.”
Meanwhile, Pedro said: “We are proud of how we have performed in the tournament until now. Today we had less power because of a very difficult match we had against Zimbabwe but the kids were brave. We tried but South Africa was strong. We will be looking forward to the next COSAFA. The weather also partly influenced the result because we could not control the ball due to wet conditions.”
South Africa is now awaiting the winner between hosts Zambia and Zimbabwe for the final match to be played tomorrow.