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Stade de Marrakech
30/11/2011 17:30

Under-23s let it slip again

Posted: 30 November 2011 Time: 21:44

South Africa will have to go into their final match at the CAF Under-23 Championships to determine their Olympic fate following a 1-1 draw against Gabon on Wednesday night.

‘Baby Bafana’ drew their opening match against Ivory Coast 1-1, and it was a similar situation as they once again took the lead against the Gabonese, but then lost concentration and conceded late on.

And that will be such a bitter pill for Shakes Mashaba to swallow after a game in which the dominated possession for large parts, and also had numerous clear-cut goalscoring chances.

Sameegh Doutie had a goalbound shot blocked on 20 minutes before Ace Bhengu hit the upright with his diving header later on.

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However, there was no stopping Mandla Masango’s headed effort five minutes before the break – the Kaizer Chiefs man finishing off after Rodney Ramolega’s deflected cross came his way.

Substitute Bhongu Jayiya then missed a free header from six yards out just past the hour-mark, and South Africa were made to pay for that when some poor marking from a corner allowed Lengoualama to head home with 10 minutes remaining.

Gabon had goalkeeper Mikiela sent off five minutes from time for a bad challenge on Jabulani Shongwe, but some serious time-wasting and inept officiating meant South Africa didn’t have a chance to capitalize on the advantage.

SA U23 starting XI: Brilliant Khuzwayo - Phumelele Bhengu, Sibusiso Mxoyana, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Gladwin Shitolo - Thandani Ntshumayelo, Sameehg Doutie, Mandla Masango (Zulu 67), Jabulani Shongwe - Riaan Eugene (Jayiya 54), Rodney Ramagalela (Khumalo 60)

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