Lyle Foster spearheads SA Under-20s to Cosafa final in Zambia
Lyle Foster scored the only goal of the game as South Africa sealed their place in the final of the Cosafa Under-20 Championships with a narrow 1-0 victory over Angola at a wet Nkana Stadium on Tuesday.
Coach Thabo Senong’s side will meet either hosts Zambia or Zimbabwe in the final on Thursday‚ with that semifinal set to be played later in the day.
AS Monaco-bound Foster netted his fourth goal of the competition in the first half as the South Africans completed a third game at the regional tournament without conceding a goal in defence of the title they won in Kitwe 12 months ago.
The Orlando Pirates youngster showed his quality when he netted from a through-ball by Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
The Chiefs youngster Ngcobo had a chance to make it 2-0 in the second period‚ but fired inches wide‚ while Pirates youngster James Monyana was thwarted by Angolan goalkeeper Carlos Peixoto.
“We are happy with the result‚ it’s a win‚ but the performance can improve here and there‚” Senong said.
“Some of the players were not mentally ready to play a knockout game. Angola were going out there and kicking us‚ but that is part of development‚ my players will learn from this.”
Angola saw more of the ball in the second period‚ but Senong says that is part of defending a lead‚ allowing the opposition to have the ball.
“When you lead‚ the opponents will dominate possession‚ so we wanted to dominate the transitions.
"We had to enjoy absorbing pressure‚ enjoy our defensive organisation and enjoy defending in our own half. It’s all about mental toughness."
Senong added that his side would need to improve their work at set-plays having yet to score a goal from a free-kick or corner in the competition.
“We need to go back and sharpen up on set-plays. We need to improve on that aspect‚” he said.