SA youngsters go down in Durban

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Senegal weathered the early South African eagerness and after going two goals down stepped up a gear and cruised to an emphatic and deserved 8-4 victory.

The South Africans were obviously fired up and came out determined to cause an upset, while their opponents looked supremely confident of their ability to overcame the hosts who had an average age of less than 21.

The crowd were given a boost when Bandile Lekena scrambled the ball over the line to give South Africa the lead after three minutes.

Nduduzo Phakathi doubled the advantage four minutes later when he calmly slotted home a Frederick Gumede cross and the crowd were in full voice as they sensed a major upset on the cards.

But the Senegal frontrunners were a good six inches taller than their markers and their running off the ball was far superior, giving them time and space to set up scoring chances.

Eventually the dam had to burst and three quick goals — a deflected header from Pape Koupaki, a clinical shot after a poor clearance from Bou Dioum and an own goal from Fani Shange — saw Senegal go into the first break 3-2 ahead.

The second period was a disaster for South Africa as their opponents exploited the disorganised defence and looked able to shoot almost at will. Only a powerful strike from Phakathi offset the five goals scored at the other end to leave the result settled and Senegal 8-3 ahead at the start of the the final 12-minute period.

Phakati wrapped up his hat-trick for a personal triumph in the final period, but despite Senegal going into cruise mode, the South African team was unable to claw their way back into the game and the 8-4 result will leave them with a lot to contemplate before the match against Mozambique on Wednesday.

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