How SA can qualify for Olympics QF

SA National Teams

After suffering back-to-back defeats at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, here's what South Africa needs to do in order to progress to the knockout stage of the competition. 

South Africa's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals at the Olympics suffered a major setback on Sunday morning when David Notoane's side suffered a second consecutive defeat in Group A, following a thrilling 4-3 defeat at the hands of France.

Scroll through the gallery to see all the players who have scored an Olympics goal for South Africa

The weekend's result, which followed a narrow 1-0 opening loss to hosts Japan earlier in the week, saw the national under-23 team drop to the bottom of the group standings and leaves them teetering on the brink of an early elimination from the competition.

However, Notoane's charges still mathematically hold an outside chance of progressing beyond the group stage – a feat the country has never achieved – but will require assistance from elsewhere in order for that dream to become a reality when they face Mexico on Wednesday.

In terms of the Olympics regulations, the top two teams from each group will progress to the next round of the tournament and will be ranked according to points gained, or goal difference when two or more teams are level on points, or on goals scored in the event that points and goal difference are equal, or on a head-to-head record if all of the above are equal.

South Africa are currently pointless with a -2 goal difference and three goals scored in Group A, while third-placed France – who have a -2 goal difference and five goals scored – are level on three points with second-placed Mexico – who have a +2 goal difference and five goals scored. Japan lead the standings with six points and a +2 goal difference.

As a result, the South African contingent must beat Mexico by two clear goals in their clash on Wednesday, which would see them draw level with their opponents on points, goal difference and goals scored, after which the tie would be decided by a favourable head-to-head record, and then hope that Japan are able to maintain their impressive form by beating the French.

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