Tebogo Moerane backs SA U-23 impact at Rio Olympics


Owen da Gama's side, who trained in Brasilia yesterday, will start their campaign against tournament hosts Brazil at Mane Garrincha Stadium on August 4 (kick-off: 21h00 SA time).

Da Gama's charges recently lost 3-1 to the South Americans in a friendly, but Moerane believes lessons have been learnt.

“As young players we only have memories of the class of 2000 playing in Sydney. We did not realise how big this platform is, this is massive. Playing at the Olympics is an honour and I want to ensure that I give it my all,” said Moerane.

“We will be facing Brazil for the second time this year when we play them in our opening match next Thursday and although we lost 3-1 in the friendly match in March, we are a better prepared team now. We will not only be facing Neymar Jr but a full-strength squad along with the 12th man, the supporters but we are up for the challenge.”

The Bidvest Wits man added: “We believe we have what it takes to give not only Brazil a run for their money, but all the teams in our group. The support staff has done all they can throughout the past year to get us to this point and we as players know that the future lies in our hands.”

Denmark and Iraq have also been paired with South Africa in Group A.

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