U-23s have to beat Ghana in qualifier

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Barney Kujane, the project manager of the national Under-23 squad, has described their Beijing Olympics qualifier against Ghana in Potchefstroom tomorrow as a must-win for the South Africans.

The all-important match for the hosts takes place at Olen Park Stadium and kicks off at 3.15pm.

Entrance to the match is free.

Indeed, South Africa cannot afford to mess up tomorrow as this will make their chances of qualifying for the Olympics much slimmer.

Steve Komphela's side, who travel to Ghana for a return match next month, have collected a point after they drew with Nigeria at home.

Ghana, on the other hand, were beaten 3-2 by the selfsame Nigeria, who lead the group, in their opener.

"It will be suicidal for us to lose on Saturday and everybody is aware of this," said Kujane yesterday.

"Ghana are a very strong side and we promise not to relax against them. We all want to go to Beijing and the players will try hard to realise their goal. All the players are in the camp and we are happy with the way the preparations have been going."

Lance Davids, who is based in Sweden, joined the rest of the team on Wednesday afternoon after he landed in the country in the morning.

Komphela has good players who can ensure that Ghana remain pointless after tomorrow's match.

These players include Excellent Wallaza, Kagiso Senamela and overseas-based duo Masilo Modubi and Jeffrey Ntuka.

At the back they have the experience of Tsepo Masilela.

Kujane said they will also rely on the support of the South African fans to win the match.

"I appeal to the people of South Africa to come in large numbers and motivate the players. The first 500 people to enter the stadium will receive gifts such as T-shirts and vuvuzelas," he said.