dream dies at the posts
AMAJITA saw their dream of defending their Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 title go up in smoke when they went 1-0 down to Zambia in the final at Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday.
Tipped by many to win the match convincingly after some impressive displays in the group stages, the national Under-20 side were brought down by a marauding Zambian side who, after scoring their goal in the 39th minute through Chakwa Lungu, seemed content with soaking up the pressure from the South Africans.
Amajita coach Maqsood Chenia is proud of his players in spite of their failure to defend their title.
The media-friendly Chenia also dismissed claims that his charges lost the match because they were overconfident.
"We were unfortunate not to have won the match today considering the many opportunities we created," he said. "We hit the woodwork three times and when that happens you get a feeling that it's not going to be your day.
"But I'm very proud of these boys because they did well and 80percent of them are new in the team. I don't think they were overconfident at all, it was a case of luck not being on our side today."
Chenia also called for the implementation of the Reserve League to give most players who are not regulars at their respective clubs enough game time.
His counterpart at Zambia, Honour Janza, said they deserved to win.
"We tried to be compact and close the game and frustrate their build-ups and stop their attacks. We knew that South Africa would come out strongly and their No 10 (Masibusane Zongo) is a very skilful player and also No 9 (Thulani Ngcepe) is equally good.
"These boys are the future of South African football and I think in the 2014 World Cup most teams will have a difficult time against them," Janza said.
The win was celebrated by a few Zambian fans who hugged and took pictures with the equally ecstatic Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya after the match.