South Africa U-23 team miss out on AFCON, Olympics

The South African Under-23 national team’s dream of playing at the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco later this year came to an end after a 0-0 draw with Congo-Brazzaville in an away second leg qualifier that extinguished all hopes on Monday.

Notoane made four changes to the starting line-up that played in the 1-1 draw against the Congolese in the first leg at Dobsonville a few days ago, but this was not enough to ease past a determined home side that was also motivated by vociferous home crowd.

The two teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0 after a few missed opportunities from both sides that forced the goalkeepers to work overtime.

It was a much improved second half-performance from the South Africans, but they could not break Congo and find the crucial goal they desperately sought. Congo managed to keep their nerve and hold onto the 1-1 aggregate and advanced on the away goal rule.

The defeat means South Africa will not be participating in the U-23 AFCON tournament to be hosted by Morocco in June 2023 and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. —Backpagepix

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