It was a perfect start for the new Amajita project at the Cosafa U20 Championship in Lusaka, Zambia on Thursday as they walloped Mauritius 5-0.
The defending champions got off to a great start as Sinenjongo Mkiva netted the opening goal at Sunset Stadium before his Bidvest Wits teammate Keagan Mitchell increased the lead to 2-0 inside the first 12 minutes.
SuperSport United young sensation Oswin Appolis, who made his debut in the Absa Premiership last weekend, netted a brace in the second half.
The final goal came from another Bidvest Wits player Athenkosi Mcaba on the stroke of full-time.
Despite having won the opening game, interim Coach Helman Mkhalele has spotted some areas that still need some improvement.
It was the first-ever international game for the new SA U20 project and Mkhalele, who has been part of the technical team which won the past two Cosafa U20, editions was also happy to see boys settling in early at this level.
It was also encouraging to four different scorers in the opening game and Mkhalele is hoping that this will increase the competitiveness in the team.
Amajita next face Madagascar at 15:30 at the same venue on Sunday, the winner in that game stands a very good chance of clinching Group B and qualifying to the semi-final. With the Islanders having beaten Lesotho in the opening game, Mkhalele says this is a game they can’t afford to take lightly.
Appolis’ brace on Thursday didn’t come as a surprise, especially for a player who took part at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland and featured in all the three matches.
The 18-year-old believes that this team will continue to grow together as they look forward to the bigger picture.
Appolis, a product of Ajax Cape Town who only joined United at the beginning of this year made has professional football debut last weekend during the one-all draw between Amatsatsansa and Stellenbosch FC.
He believes that this current generation can emulate the team of former coach Thabo Senong which went to two U20 World Cups. – Report by Velile Mnyandu