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Komphela still confident of Olympics berth

By unknown | Sep 10, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

South African national Under-23 soccer team coach Steve Komphela is still optimistic that they have an outside chance to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games next year.

Komphela was speaking after an emphatic 3-1 drubbing by an uncompromising Ghana at Olen Park Stadium in Potchefstroomin North West on Saturday.

"Our defence succumbed to the strong marauding Ghanaian strikers and lacked confidence in themselves," said Komphela.

"We had about three clear-cut chances in the early minutes of the game, but we failed to execute them.

"What took the wind out of our sails was the two silly goals we conceded within minutes in the first half. We allowed their forwards space to move easily and we were punished.

"But we stand a good chance to qualify, because we'll be playing Ghana and Nigeria away, so all is not lost."

Komphela said the team needed a strong central defender and admitted they were outclassed with high balls by their physically stronger and tall opponents.

The Ghanaian coach, Jones Attuquayefio, said the away win has revived their chances to challenge for a place at the Beijing Olympic Games next year.

"It's a foregone conclusion that we'll beat South Africa and Nigeria in our return matches," he said.

The visitors were clearly superior in the air and on the ground and the local boys failed to contain them and could also not penetrate their domain.

After a number of blistering shots at the home side's goal area, Ghana's Prince Tagoe made a solo dash after a pass from the midfield, scoring from outside the box in the 25th minute.

Tagoe, who proved to be a menace to the home side, completed his brace in the same manner in the 34th minute.

Komphela's boys tried every trick in the book to penetrate the Ghanaian defence but tight marking and robust play kept them at bay.

Obed Ansah scored Ghana's third goal in the 85th minute.

South Africa pulled one back through Lance Davids in the 87th minute. After this goal the home side fought hard to reduce the margin or equalise, but it was too late.


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