Alarm bells for Gabon

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Majimbos' left-back Dylon "Alarm" Claasen looks set to make his African Under-17 Championships debut against Gabon at the Kague Stadium in Lome, Togo, today.

This comes after the team's medical personnel declared the Ajax Cape Town lad fully fit after yesterday's training session.

"The boy was sharp at training and we are impressed by his level of fitness," said Serame Letsoaka, coach of the South African team.

"We were too thin at the back in our opening match against Togo because of injuries to Dylon (ankle) and Tshepo Gumede.

"Tshepo sustained serious injuries after he fell on top of a glass coffee table at the hotel two hours before the Togo match.

"The medical personnel have ruled Tshepo out for the remainder of the group stage matches."

Letsoaka, who is assisted by Solly Luvhengo and John Tlale, is confident they will win against Gabon to get their hopes of qualifying for the semifinals back on track.

The South African Under-17s are under pressure after a 2-0 loss to Togo.

Gabon played to a goalless draw with Tunisia in the other match in the group.

"Gabon are not a bad team, we just have to guard against complacency," said Letsoaka after taking the boys through their paces yesterday.

"I have no doubt that we will tear them to pieces. Our plan is to reach the semifinals, which will also see us earning a place in the World Junior Championships."

Meanwhile, two-time champions Ghana got their campaign off to a flying start in Group B with a 3-1 win over Burkina-Faso at the same venue on Sunday night.

In another Group B match, Nigeria were too strong for debutantes Eritrea, whom they whipped 8-0 to see the Flying Eagles topping the table with a superior goal difference.