Under-23s should have won 6-0 - ODG
Posted: 2 August 2015 Time: 10:49
While pleased with the way his side "killed the game" to qualify for the CAF Under-23 Championships in Senegal, national Under-23 coach Owen da Gama feels they should have beaten Zimbabwe by a greater margin than 3-0.
"We totally took control and it should have been four, five or six goals in five minutes! But I was very, very happy for these boys," Da Gama says.
“With a little more game-time and a few more matches I think we have got the basis of very good team to help us in Senegal."
South Africa took the initiative in the early minutes of the match at Harry Gwala Stadium; their quick one-two passing confusing Zimbabwe and Keagan Dolly scored the first from close range.
Zimbabwe hit the woodwork soon after, before Gift Motupa made it 2-0. The third goal was a long time coming, Dolly sealing the result for a 3-1 aggregate when his free-kick squirmed under the visitors’ defensive wall and was fumbled over the line by Zimbabwe's goalkeeper Tatema Mkuruva.
"I think we dropped the intensity in the second half, but you have to be very careful. You have to take control of the ball and the game … you can't just attack and attack. We didn't want them to score. So we had to defend well, we had to keep possession and we had to attack well,” the coach explains.
“I thought at times it was very calculative because they killed the game; they got control of the ball, passed the ball around and then attacked."
The Under-23s will now compete in an eight-nation CAF Under-23 tournament in Senegal in November, aiming for a top-three finish to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.