Lebogang Mothiba: South Africa U-23s can deal with Denmark


The two countries will lock horns on Sunday, 7 August at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia – their second match of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The South Africans put in a great performance against hosts Brazil on Thursday, securing a goalless draw even though they were down to 10 men after Mothobi Mvala was red-carded in the 59th minute.

In the other match, Denmark also earned themselves a point against Iraq as both sides failed to score.

Mothiba, who recently signed a first-team contract with his French side Lille, says South Africa has what it takes to emerge victorious.

“Without undermining Denmark, they play European football, which is direct. They use tall strikers who more often than not want high balls in the box. They also play balls into space and with the kind of defenders we have, we should be able to deal with that,” said Mothiba.

“On the other hand, South African football is about flair and quick one-twos. We have to be alert of the aggression Denmark will bring to us, and the counter-attacks that they like to play, but I believe we have a very good chance of doing well in this match.

“We need to continue from where we left off against Brazil. That performance was outstanding, so if we can go a notch up we could come out victorious on Sunday, and, yes, the last match is behind us and we have to move on, but we had a lot of positives that can help us against Denmark.”

Kick-off between South Africa and Denmark is at 19h00 local time (midnight SA time).