The South African Under-23 team are bracing themselves for a tough assignment when they meet the Young Warriors in a Zone VI All-Africa Games football final round qualifier next month.
The Young Warriors brushed aside the challenge of Botswana 6-3 on aggregate after delivering a 4-1 hammering on their opponents at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday to book a date with South Africa.
South Africa’s Amaglug-glug on the other hand lost 2-1 away in Lilongwe in the second leg of their qualifier but still managed to come out 5-3 winners on aggregate after having won the first leg 4-1.
South African football magazine website Kickoff.com is wary that the Young Warriors can pull the rug from under South Africa’s feet unless the latter let their guard down.
Young Warriors’ coach Friday Phiri could have the luxury of unleashing the star duo of Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat to the already vastly-talented squad at his disposal.
A statement on the website read: “The South African Under-23 team will face the intimidating challenge of Zimbabwe in the final qualification round for the 2011 Maputo All-Africa Games following their victory over Malawi during the past weekend.
“The Shakes Mashaba-coached side will now have to scale the hurdle posed by Zimbabwe in the final round of qualifiers to be played in June. Zimbabwe made light work of Botswana, running out 6-3 aggregate winners, and indications are that the Young Warriors could even have Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona available for the tie.”
Kaizer Chief’s Musona and Ajax Cape Town’s Billiat will be on their off-season break and could add more attacking options to the team which already has attack-minded players like Mathew Rusike, Simba Sithole, Joel Ngodzo and Denver Mukamba.