SA 'queuing' for last flight to Tokyo

SA National Teams

South Africa's under-23 side are waiting in the queue to purchase their plane tickets to Tokyo, Japan for next year's Summer Olympics, according to coach David Notoane.

South Africa have one last chance to qualify for a second successive Men's Olympic football tournament, with Ghana currently standing in their way.

The under-23's will on Friday afternoon (16h00) take on the Black Meteors at teh Cairo International Stadium in the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations third/fourth-place play-off.

A victory will secure their spaces in Tokyo, joining Egypt and Ivory Coast, who will contest the continental final at the same venue on Friday evening (20h00).

Coach Notoane is wary of the test that lies ahead, but believes they are agonisingly close to achieving their objective after falling short against the host nation in their semi-final on Tuesday evening.

"We've got a big game tomorrow against Ghana, and of course the most important thing is to buy our ticket to go to Tokyo," said Notoane.

"We are queuing at the moment, ready for check-in, and tomorrow we will see if we are going through into the plane or not.

"It's been a tough journey and a tough trip [to the third-place play-off], especially in the last game – it was very dramatic and emotionally draining.

"We've been able to pick ourselves up, re-focus the players and re-energize ourselves to make sure that tomorrow we come with the right spirit and desire to do what's necessary to go to Tokyo.

"In terms of tactics – no tactics! What matters is to go through to Tokyo, and I'm sure it's the same for Ghana, and t's now more about the mind and heart to want to get to Tokyo, so we look forward to the game."