By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
THE SA Under-23 team has qualified for the 2011 All Africa Games despite losing 1-0 away to Zimbabwe yesterday.
The Shakes Mashaba’s coached side went to Zimbabwe highly confident after having won the first leg 2-0 at home a fortnight ago, but only to lose away in the a returned leg at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare and they have since booked their ticket to Mozambique’s capital, Maputo where they will participate in the 10th edition of the AAG expected to take place from September 3-18.
Upon arrival in the country from Zimbabwe, Mashaba said he was obviously very disappointed that we did not win our match but very happy with the overall result.
“I know that everybody would have loved for us to come back home with a win, but let me hasten to add that it was a very tough match and my boys did very well to hold on. The defence worked wonders and we were just unfortunate to let that one goal in. It was also a very good experience for the boys playing away from home,” said Mashaba.
He added: “I must admit it’s a very good feeling to qualify for the AAG which in my view is a prestigious tournament. I have always said that for us to conquer the world we need to start in our backyard, right here in our region, then we can take it from there. So this is the start we wanted. The All Africa Games will also be a good test for the boys because they will able to play a number of matches in a short period of time.”