Da Gama has already named his starting line-up for this evening's clash at the Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, which is scheduled to kick-off at 21h00 (SA time) this evening.
Though wary of the threat they face from Rogerio Micale’s side, featuring the likes of Neymar and new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus, the former Orlando Pirates mentor is adamant teamwork is the key to overcoming the Selecao's individual stars.
“I’ll have to keep my cards close to my chest, but it’s fair to say that South Africa qualified by beating Senegal [in the 2015 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations],” Da Gama told reporters in Brazil on Wednesday afternoon.
“I believe that because we’ve been playing together a lot, we’ve also achieved a lot together. We also won the COSAFA Cup because we’ve played together.
“I believe the only way to negate, or to try and counter Brazil’s threat, is to defend as a team and not concentrate on individuals and man-marking because we know they have quality individual players.”
“For us, it’s to play as a team and I think the collective will always be better than the individual.”
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Meanwhile, captain Keagan Dolly has shared his coach’s sentiments and calls on his teammates to play their own game and make the most of their experience.
“We know that they are a good team and that they have good individuals, but it’s just for us to play our normal game,” he added. “We know it’s going to be tough but we need to work as a team and just enjoy the experience.
“In football, you never know what’s going to happen on the day. We just need to go out there, try not to concede and create chances, and then obviously to make use of those chances that we create.”
From humble beginnings to national stardom, we go behind the scenes and chat with the family of Mamelodi Sundowns star Keagan Dolly, as the SA U-23 captain himself reveals how his move back home has changed his life.
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