Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
14 Feb 2019
11:26 am

Senegal dash Amajita’s hopes

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Amajita’s dreams of lifting the Under-20 Afcon trophy in Niger were ended by Senegal, with the West Africans winning the semi-final 1-0 at the Seyni Kouche Stadium last night.

Former Amajita coach Thabo Senong (Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix)

The South Africans will now play for the bronze medal against nemesis Nigeria on Saturday after they lost the first semi-final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Mali earlier on the day.

Before kickoff between Amajita and Senegal, there was some sort uncertainty whether the game would go ahead as planned due to lights failure at the venue, but the situation was resolved with the game starting 20 minutes later.

It was Senegal who piled pressure from the first blow of the whistle with Ibrahima Drame looking very lively in Senegal’s left side of attack.

The left-winger thought he won a penalty for the Young Lions of Teranga after a challenge from Keenan Phillips in the 10th minute, but the referee waved play on leaving Drame protesting on his own.

A minute later, Senegal threatened the South African goals with a header from defender Souleymane Aw, but it failed to hit the target.

Amajita, meanwhile, were looking to catch the West Africans on a counter attack, but Senegal player’s huge body physique made it difficult for the likes of Promise Mkhuma to be a threat.

When Mkhuma had the ball, the winger was always surrounded by many green jerseys and spent most of the time on the ground being fouled.

In the 33rd minute, Aw tried to test Amajita goalkeeper Khulekane Kubheka from a set-piece outside the box, but South African keeper was able to deal with the danger.

With a couple of minutes to half time, Amajita got a chance to threaten the Senegalese goals from a free-kick, but the young Lions shot-stopper Dialy Ndiaye managed to clear the ball out of danger leaving the teams to go into the break locked on 0-0.

Having absorbed pressure from Senegal and defended very well for the most part of the match, Amajita’s defence was finally pierced when Ousseynou Niang’s strike was deflected inside the Amajita in the 70th to give the West Africans the lead and the winning goal of the match.

Senegal will now take Mali in the final on Sunday at the same venue.

Amajita will pride themselves with having qualified for the 2019 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Poland starting in May.

 

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