THE national under-20 side, Makoanyane XI, reached the semi-final of the regional COSAFA Cup for the first time in 13 years after a goalless draw against Angola on Tuesday which enabled them to top Group C ahead of favourites, Zimbabwe.
Makoanyane XI started the campaign with a goalless draw against Zimbabwe before coming from a goal down to defeat Namibia 2-1 in their second game.
They ended the group stage with another goalless draw against Angola to finish with five points and book their semi-final spot where they will meet Uganda today.
An elated Makoanyane XI coach, Leslie Notši, told this publication that he was very proud of his charges for making it past the group stages.
“I am very happy for the boys as they have re-written the history books by qualifying for the first time in 13 years,” Notši said.
“The players have shown big hearts that need to be nurtured well to reach their full potential.”
He said the squad did not have the best of preparations but they still rose to the occasion.
“It’s a good result for our boys and credit goes to the players who showed character. It’s pleasing for our country.
“We were aware that our last match was going to be very tough, the toughest so far in this competition because Angola had nothing to lose. But I told the players to go into the field, enjoy themselves and play to their potential.”
The Kick4Life coach said today’s semi-final clash with Uganda would be very tough as they were a very tactical and physical side.
“We have been taking it one game at the time and it will be the same against Uganda who have brought a very good squad.
“They have a high tactical awareness and physical presence so we will have to be positive going into that game.
“The self-belief has been there and we encourage the players to give their best yet again.
“Getting to this stage says a lot about the talent we have as a country and it has to be nurtured. We have to stand up and be counted,” he said.