Wonderkid Appolis rescues Amajita

SA National Teams

Rising star Oswin Appolis scored two goals to spare South Africa under-20s' blushes as they beat Madasacar on penalties at the U20 COSAFA Cup.

The 18-year-old, who made his PSL debut for SuperSport United last week, continued his rise to stardom with a brace for Helman Mkhalele side's to drag them back to 2-2 after they went 2-0 down against the Madagascans.

Appolis netted with a superb strike in the 66th minute to make it 2-1 and followed that up with a well-struck equaliser in stoppage time before Amajita went on to win 5-4 in the penalty shootout.

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"Well it was a tough day at the office, the guys [Madagascar] scored two goals and my boys' heads were down," Appolis said after being named man of the match.

"I always I told the boys there were still 45 minutes to go and we need to go fight for the badge and they did it.

"I didn't play the last game [4-0 win over Lesotho] but for the new game I was always trying to get in the game. We knew it was tough and my teammates were always telling my 'you need to get in the game, we need you'."

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What was he thinking when he scored his two goals?

"I knew that the centre-back, the left-back liked to press me so I needed to take a touch forward and just put the ball in the back of the net."

His coach Mkhalele was full of praise for the inspiration Appolis provided to his teammates to lead them through a difficult match.

"Because of the experience that he has gained over the period where he was with us during the World Cup he is an inspiration to the boys, you could see his leadership qualities," Mkhalele said.

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"You know what was pleasing about him is he never stopped fighting even though things were not going his way in the first half so that is why we believed in him that he will inspire the boys.

"And eventually he inspired the boys, pumping them, pushing them to go forward, creating those chances and yes he created those chances and made use of them by scoring."

South Africa will play either Zambia or Angola in the final on Saturday.