Amajimbos edge Zambia in five-goal Afcon thriller
Crowie's team will next take on Nigeria in the final group phase game on Saturday.
Amajimbos’ Luke Junio Baartman (left) congratulates Vicky Mkhawana for scoring his second goal against Zambia. (Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix)
Resilient South Africa bounced back to winning ways with a 3-2 win over Zambia in their second Group B game at the Caf Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) at the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui stadium in Algeria on Wednesday.
Having lost the opening game against Morocco, Amajimbos needed a win in order to keep their hopes of reaching the Afcon quarterfinals alive and they did that against their Cosafa neighbours.
The young Bafana Bafana began the tie against the Zambians on a high note with two quick goals thanks to Kaizer Chiefs development player Vicky Mkhawana’s brace.
Their opponents responded by pulling one goal before the break, with an intensifying second period anticipated.
Indeed, the game became interesting as Zambia leveled matters, but Michael Dokunmu sealed the win for Amajimbos in the later stages of the game.
South Africa coach Duncan Crowie admits that the Zambian put them under pressure by equalising, but added that his troops showed a good fight.
“It was more than a fight. We were 2-0 up and they came back and made it very difficult for us, putting us under pressure with the deep and long balls that put our defense under pressure,” he said.
“But as I mentioned to the guys, it was important for us to show that we can play. If they did not allow us to play, then at least we show we can fight, and I say fight in a very nice way so that we ensure they (Zambia) don’t create opportunities.
Crowie believes Zambia weren’t really threatening in front of goals. And he says he will talk to his players regarding what they have to improve on.
“With all the pressure that they put us under, I don’t think they really created clear-goal cut goal-scoring opportunities, which is very good,” he added.
“Like I did the other night (after the defeat to Morocco in the opening match of the tournament). I will sit up again and cut clips to make it clear to the players what they did right and what they can still improve on in preparation for our next game against Nigeria.”
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Amajimbos are third in the group, level on three points with second-placed Nigeria who are ahead of them on goal difference. Morocco are at the top with six points, while Zambia are last without a single point after two games.
The South Africans will next take on Nigeria in the final group phase game on Saturday.