Amajita face tough final against hosts Zambia to retain Cosafa trophy

14 December 2019 - 12:05 By NICK SAID
SA Under-20 coach Helman Mkhalele. FILE PHOTO
SA Under-20 coach Helman Mkhalele. FILE PHOTO
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

South Africa Under-20 coach Helman Mkhalele is expecting an epic contest in the Cosafa Men’s U-20 Championship final against hosts Zambia at what is likely to be a packed Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka as locals rally behind the home side.

Amajita came back from two goals down to level at 2-2 and force the game to penalties wining their semifinal on Thursday against a tough Madagascar.

The defending champion South Africa face the hosts on Saturday (kickoff 3pm Zambia and SA time), hoping to retain their trophy.

“It is going to be a very difficult game against the hosts and they are also very physical,” Mkhalele said.

“They are a well-drilled team in relation to their tactical application, but it is another opportunity for our team to develop. I believe we will pull through with a good preparation plan.

“With the belief that the players have, you could see they want it badly. They are on the verge of making history for themselves, for them to go all the way and be in the final will inject a little bit of energy in them.

“For me personally, it will mean a lot [to lift the trophy]. I have been with the team for the past three years [as assistant coach].

“I have reached the final and won it two times in a row, but what pleases me currently is the development and the growth of our players. It will help them in their careers.”

Amajita won the  2018 U-20 Championship, also in Zambia, by beating Zimbabwe on penalties in the final.