Botswana out to upset Amajita today


Amajita and the Young Zebras lock horns in an encounter that will determine the sole team that progresses to the semifinals of the ongoing Metroplitan Cosafa Under-20 championships. The match is scheduled for KaNyamazane Stadium in Mpumalanga.

South Africa, on six points lead Group A courtesy of a superior goal difference over Botswana. But with the head-to-head record being employed to separate the teams in the event of teams finishing with the same number of points, Amajita cannot afford a slip up.

A draw will however enable the hosts to progress to the last four.

Assistant coach Sparks Banda warns his charges to take their opponents lightly at their own peril.

“Only we can be our own worst enemy,” he says.

“Although our chances are better than theirs, we should tread carefully against Botswana as it is an open game. Teams tend to raise their standard when playing against South Africa, which makes all our matches a bit difficult,” he adds.

Amajita have arguably been the toast of the group, particularly on Sunday when they thrashed Mauritius 5-0, displaying a rare blend of entertaining and productive football.

The hosts hopes lie in Michael Nkambule who is without doubt the most impressive player in this annual tournament.

Botswana are no pushovers. The ever-improving team has continued from where it left off in this year’s Eight Nations’ tournament and the fact that they have scored two victories on the trot underlines their capabilities.

Coach Auris Radipotsame says the team stands a chance of upsetting the hosts.

“We are ready for South Africa. In fact we are here to win the tournament and not to add to the numbers. It would be folly to say they are favourites while they are yet to qualify or that they are the home team.

“They have not travelled a long distance like we did and are only on top of the log on goal advantage. I have watched them play once and they have several weaknesses in their game which we are going to exploit,” he says.