Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
1 minute read
20 May 2017
9:15 am

Amajita skipper hopes for good start

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Amajita's objective ahead of their opening game at the Under-20 Fifa World Cup in South Korea is to ensure they get a positive result in order to have a successful tournament, says the team's skipper Tercious Malepe.

Tercious Malepe, captain of the SA U20 . (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Malepe was speaking ahead of their Group D match with Asian champions Japan at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday.

“It won’t be easy, but we are going there to fight and make sure we get the result that will put us in a very good position in our group,” said the skipper.

“We have studied our opponents well. We know their game is based on speed and aggression. Our team is full of good ball-players, but we can also be aggressive. However, we will be playing our normal game, that is the way to win the match.”

The national Under-20 captain says the team’s training camps in Germany and the Netherlands while preparing for the competition were vital.

“I think we have more understanding of each other as players and the team as a whole. We played a friendly match against Costa Rica and we beat them 2-1. That boosted our confidence and now we know we can come up against any team and get a positive result,” he added.

With Thabo Senong’s team having won their last preparation match ahead of the tournament, the Japanese also come to the game having won their friendly, coming from behind to beat Honduras 3-2 at the Shizouka Stadium in Japan last Monday.

Malepe and the rest of the Amajita back four will have to be wary of 15-year-old midfielder Takefusa Kubo who plays for FC Tokyo and is hailed as the Lionel Messi of Japan.

Teenager Kubo has already made his senior team debut and is a player Amajita’s defenders will have to close down to avoid any danger.