SA under-17s humiliated 7-0 by Zambia counterparts in heaviest ever loss by a men’s team
South Africa suffered a humbling 7-0 defeat to Zambia at the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championships on Monday‚ matching their own record for the heaviest ever loss by a men’s team from the country.
The margin of defeat is the same as a 1998 defeat to Uruguay‚ when the side contained the likes of Dominic Isaacs‚ Brett Evans and Steven Pienaar‚ who would all go on to play for Bafana Bafana.
The coach of the 2019 side‚ Veli Khumalo‚ who was recently elevated from assistant after Molefi Ntseki took over the reins of Bafana Bafana‚ feels his team “could have done better”‚ but adds there are mitigating circumstances.
“I am not happy with the score margin.
"We conceded seven goals and no coach will be happy with that‚ even though we are playing against a team that has been assembled for a very long time‚” Khumalo told reporters.
“We had one session to prepare and then had to come to the tournament.
"That is not an excuse though.”
Khumalo has selected a squad that contains a number of 14- and 15-year-olds as he builds the group towards the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations.
He says that despite this year’s showing‚ which also included a 3-0 loss to Malawi in their opener‚ he will return to the competition in 2020 with the same players‚ as that tournament serves as the qualifier for the continental event.
“What really killed us was conceding a goal in the early part of the game.
"Because when you play with small boys‚ it becomes a problem as they start to lose the tactical plot‚” he said.
“However‚ it is a learning curve for us‚ we are preparing for next year.
"Then we will have the same players‚ but a different approach.”