The defence will have to be solid for us to get past Mozambique in the second leg second round of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday (20 May 2018).
These are the words of Malebogo Modise, who plays at left back for the Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita).
South Africa will host Mozambique at Moruleng Stadium near Rustenburg. Kickoff is at 15h00.
Modise has warned his teammates not be too relaxed but be solid at the back and lethal in front of goal if they are to go through to the third and final round of the qualifiers.
The two nations played to a 1-1 draw last weekend (Saturday, 12 May) in Beira City – giving Amajita the away goal advantage.
“The defence will play a big role in this match, we have to make sure they don’t anything past us and we will have a good chance of progressing to the next round. We will have to be switched on from the start of the match. The goal they scored against us was because of our mistake as we allowed them in, but now we will be stronger than in the first leg as we have seen they can be dangerous if left unchecked,” said Modise.
“With the scores level at 1-1, our approach going forward will have to be lethal and not waste opportunities like the ones that came our way in Beira City. While the defence shuts the back door, the forwards will have to get goals so we can ease the pressure a bit on ourselves. The advantage is with us but it’s too tight to can relax on it, so we have to get a goal early on to make it difficult for them to come back into the match.”
Modise, who played for Amajita in the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, says it is going to be a big battle on Sunday.
“It’s going to be a big game. We played to a draw in their backyard and they will want to come here and beat us because that is the only thing that will make them go through, but we don’t want to lose to them so it is going to be tough, we will both be fighting for points,” added Modise.
“In the first leg, we didn’t know much about them – some of our players were battling and couldn’t adapt quick enough in the first half, but in the second stanza, they came to the party after they realised how Mozambique was playing. Now that we are aware of what they are capable of, we will capitalise on their weaknesses and do the best we can to win the match. This is a very important one for us and we can’t relax because of the away goal, we must fight even harder.”
The overall winner between South Africa and Mozambique will meet the winner between Malawi and Angola in the next round of qualifiers scheduled for July.