South Africa opened their 2018 COSAFA under 20 Youth Championship on a high by thumping a hapless Mauritius 5-0 on Monday. Amajita, who are the defending champions of the tournament, led 5-0 at the break. South Africa’s next match is against Eswatini on Saturday.

Amajita are using the COSAFA Cup as part of preparations for next year’s under-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Niger.

South Africa took the lead after an own goal by Mauritius in the opening minutes of the match. Then it was 2-0 in the 12th minute after a Lyle Foster strike. In just under 30 minutes, Foster scored his second goal of the match to make it 4-0.

Amajita coach Thabo Senong says this is an ideal start for South Africa.

“Well done to the boys, they did well. They stuck to the game plan and first games of the tournament are never easy so it’s always important to create chances and not to concede goals maybe to reduce the number of mistakes. But of course you cannot undermine an opposition in this kind of tournament. You can see Mauritius there’s a bit of improvement in their height, how they defend set-plays because they didn’t give us a single goal from set-plays.”

Senong says although the match against Eswatini will not be a walk in the park, their aim is to finish top of the group and qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.

“Swaziland [Eswatini] has prepared well better than us and we are still trying to find ourselves and our rhythm.  You saw our game in the second half dropped a little bit. It’s back to the drawing board for our mistakes and then prepare for Swaziland [Eswatini]. It’s our objective to come out of our group, but it’s one game at a time.”

With the ABSA Premiership in full swing, some of the eligible players were not available for this tournament.