Luther Singh sets up three goals as SA U-23s cruise past Angola
South Africa’s Under-23 team took a confident first step towards the 2020 Olympics as they comfortably strolled past Angola 3-1 in Luanda in Friday’s first leg of their 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.
Portugal-based forward Luther Singh played a starring role setting up all three of South Africa’s goals – scored by Phakamani Mahlambi and Thendo Mukumela in the first half‚ and Grant Margeman in the second as SA cruised to a 3-0 lead.
Angola pulled a late goal back through Lopez Texeira in the 86th minute.
The return leg of the second-round tie is at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night (kickoff 7pm).
Coach David Notoane’s talented SA U-23 combination‚ who had a bye through the first round‚ seem sure to cruise through the tie‚ setting up a third-round fixture against Zimbabwe or Mozambique.
The winners of that round qualify for the eight-nation U-23 Afcon in Egypt in November‚ where the top three finishers reach next year’s Olympics in Tokyo‚ Japan.
SA took the lead in just the seventh minute when Singh burst down the right and squared for an unmarked Mahlambi to finish.
They went 2-0 up in the 16th minute‚ Singh again doing good work to set up a finish‚ this time by defender Mukumela.
After a speedy counterattack in the 68th minute Ajax Cape Town midfielder Margeman made it 3-0. Angola had been throwing everything forward to try to pull a goal back but quick thinking by Singh saw him feed Margeman‚ who weaved through a cluster of Angolan defenders before coolly slotting.
Texeira’s late strike meant Angola will travel to South Africa needing a 3-0 away win to progress.
SA U-23 starting XI: Mondli Mpoto‚ Thendo Mukumela‚ Tercious Malepe‚ Sandile Mthethwa‚ Katlego Mohamme‚ Teboho Mokoena‚ Phakamani Mahlambi‚ Athenkosi Dlala‚ Grant Margeman‚ Lyle Foster‚ Luther Singh
Substitutes: Darren Johnson. Siyabonga Ngezana‚ Jamie Webber‚ Gift Links‚ Kabelo Seriba‚ Khanyisa Mayo‚ Kamohelo Mahlatsi