Brave Amajita go down fighting

Sowetan Reporter

They may have lost 4-3 to Ghana in the semifinals of African Youth Championship, but Amajita showed bravery and fighting spirit throughout the match at Kigali Regional Stadium in Rwanda yesterday.

Ghana will face Cameroon in the final of the tournament on Sunday after the latter beat Nigeria 2-0 in another semifinal match yesterday.

Amajita face Nigeria on Saturday in a fight for third place.

The junior South Africans showed no respect for their heavily-built opponents from the first whistle and it was unfortunate that they lost the match.

Amajita were all over Ghana in the opening 20 minutes but failed to find the back of the net.

Thulani Serero should have put the South Africans in the lead but his header went straight into the hands of goalkeeper Daniel Agyei.

Dominic Adiyiah put Ghana in the lead in the 24th minute after he accurately converted a square pass from Ransford Osei who had overpowered Thulani Hlatshwayo.

George Maluleka failed to level the matters when his effort went wide in the 35th minute.

Osei made it 2-0 in the last minute of the first stanza.

Phumelele Bhengu pulled one back for Amajita in the 63rd minute, but a minute later Andre Ayew, the captain and son of Abedi Pele Ayew, restored Ghana's two-goal lead, much to the disappointment of Amajita.

Osei completed his brace in the 71st minute, but Serero reduced the margin to 4-2 a minute later.

Bhengu made it 4-3 from the penalty sport after he was fouled inside the box in the 89th minute, but it was a case of too little too late.

Amajita's coach Serame Letsoaka indicated that the boys did not stick to his game plan in the first half when they conceded two easy goals.

"But I must commend the boys for their bravery," Letsoaka said.

"I'm confident that we will do better in the third-place playoff match."