South Africa Under-19 team to play Arsenal Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament final
Posted: 4 August 2016 Time: 23:31
The South Africa Under-19 team will take on Arsenal in the final match of the the Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament on 6 August at King Zwelithini Stadium.
The two teams have advanced after an intense matchday as both won their semi-final matches at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Thursday. The Gunners youths eliminated TP Mazembe from DR Congo, while SA U-19 edged past Sporting Lisbon.
The two teams will now meet in Saturday’s championship decider, which is scheduled to kick off at 14h45.
Ahead of that, losing semi-finalists TP Mazembe and Sporting Lisbon will battle it out for the bronze medal at the same venue at 12h30.
Arsenal won their place in the final after a tense 90-minute match that ended with a 3-0 result. It was an epic battle between two club giants who tried their best to find the back of the net. The 2015 victors got a first-half lead when their jersey number 10 Malen scored a tremendous goal in the 24th minute. Teammate Nkhetiah followed the lead up with a magnificent second goal and the clincher came in what was an unexpected penalty-kick goal when Mavididi scored in the 83rd minute.
The second clash of the day took shape when the SA U-19 side took to the ground against the Portuguese club.
This was perhaps the toughest game of the tournament with both teams defending their right to advance to the final with all they had. Numerous chances at goalscoring occurred and finally in the 62nd minute the first goal of the match hit the back of the net when SA-19 forward Kabomelo Kodisang pulled a stunning fast one on his opponents' backline.
Top scorer Khanyisa Mayo scored the second goal of the match and while the crowd was recovering, to cement the team’s road to victory and the final on Saturday was Kodisang with his second goal that ended the match with with a 3-0 win for South Africa.
Speaking from Moses Mabhida Stadium, Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba said: "Congratulations to the boys who’ve made it to the final of the tournament. The match was not what we expected as we started at a very low key, we should’ve scored in the first half, however we’re closing the gap in the world of football. I think that the only constant thing is change and initiatives such as the Durban U-19 tournament speak to that. I am greatly looking forward to the final."
SA U-19 defeated Sporting Lisbon in the second semi-final with an assured display that will give them plenty of confidence going into the tournament decider.
Fixtures – 6 August 2016 – King Zwelithini Stadium
3rd and 4th Place Play-Offs
12h30 Sporting Lisbon vs TP Mazembe
14h45 Arsenal vs South Africa U-19