Helman Mkhalele warns against ill-discipline
Amajita coach Helman Mkhalele is fretting about the unavailability of influential attacking midfielder Oswin Appolis, 18, for today's Under-20 Cosafa Championship final pool match against Lesotho in Zambia (3.30pm).
Having received a yellow card in Amajita's opening match, a 5-0 win over Mauritius, where he netted a brace and scooped the Man of the Match accolade, Appolis was booked again in Sunday's 1-1 stalemate against Madagascar, triggering a one-match ban.
"He [Appolis] needs to learn to control his temper. In this situation, it is going to hurt the team because he's one of the most experienced players in the team, so losing such a player has a negative impact on the team, even on our chances of progressing to the next round might have been hurt," Mkhalele said.
He further urged his charges to guard against ill-discipline, using Appolis's scenario as an example of a booking that could have been avoided. Bidvest Wits' Sinenjongo Mkiva scored Amajita's goal against Madagascar.
"This [getting yellow cards] is one of the disappointing factors," said the Amajita coach, who played as a winger for Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana in his prime.
"Players need to learn how to control their emotions because the yellow card that he got was unnecessary. We can't afford to have yellow cards that are collected from off-the- ball incidents . like kicking the ball away when the referee has given a decision against you [like Appolis did]."
SA, who are the defending champions, are top of Group B on four points, level with Madagascar but with a better goal difference. The winners of each of the three pools alongside the best runners-up across all the groups advance to the semifinals.
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