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China hold South Africa to a draw in BRICS u17 Football Cup

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The South African u17 Men’s National Team, Amajimbos, was held to a goalless draw by a determined China side in the BRICS u17 Football Cup, which was played on Sunday, 9 October 2016 at the Bambolin Stadium in Goa, India. It was a must-win for China who had already lost two games, while South Africa was playing their second match.

It was a dull affair in the first half as both teams were struggling under the heat and humidity of Goa - added to that China was playing their third match in five days and it showed, as they were slow off the blocks. South Africa should have taken advantage of the situation, but instead it was China who came close in the 22nd minute when the ball was passed behind the Amajimbos defence who were left for dead by the China forwards but they shot wide.

Amajimbos managed to score three minutes later but a player was adjudged to have used his hand to steer the ball into the back of the net.

However, both teams came out guns blazing in the second stanza as it had started to cool down, and the game came back to life.

Amajimbos enjoyed a lot of possession, and created numerous chances, which they failed to convert. First Lyle Foster was clear on goals but could only shoot wide in the 65th minute. A minute later South Africa started a move from the back, threw in a cross from the left and Foster tried an acrobatic but it went narrowly wide.

In the 70th minute S’miso Bophela was a gifted a golden opportunity when a back pass landed in his way, but with the goalkeeper to beat he ballooned his shot.

Second half substitute, Tyreese Pillay almost scored a spectacular goal but could only watch in agony in the 76th minute as his ball beat the keeper but not the upright and ricocheted back into play.

There was still time for another chance in the 88th minute when Sthembiso Kurata, who replaced Sabelo Radebe, almost had his name on the score sheet. After a neat one-two in the opposition box, Kurata shot over the crossbar when it would have easier to score.

For the better part of the second stanza, China was chasing the game but made sure they kept a clean sheet and shared the spoils.

South Africa now has four points after two games, while China is sitting on just one after three matches. Russia has six after two wins in two games, and Brazil registered a victory in the one match they have played so far.

Amajimbos next face Brazil on Tuesday, 11 October. That match kickoffs at 12h30 South African time. China will take on hosts India in the later match.

Teams:

South Africa: Glen Baadjies, Mswati Mavuso, Luke Fleurs, Nkanyiso Shinga, Mjabulise Mkhize, Sabelo Radebe (Sthembiso Kurata), Ndamolelo Radzilani (Tyreese Pillay), Luke Le Roux (C), S’miso Bophela, Lyle Foster, Thabo Mokwena (Sechaba Mokoena)

Subs: Tshepo Mohui (GK), Rhuwano Wynne (GK), Sechaba Mokoena, Jaqueel de Jager, Lethabo Mazibuko, Tyrees Pillay, Kabelo Makola, Mpho Mahlangu, Sifundo Nkosi, Sithembiso Kurata

COACH: MOLEFI NTSEKI

China: Qi Yuxi (GK), Wang Xianjun, Wu Shaocong (C), Sun Long Xiang, Zhang Hui, Huang Cong, Chen Ao, Tao Qianglong, Lian Dongwei, Meng Zhen, Feng Zihao

Subs: Li Weijie (GK), Guo Jiawei (GK), Wu Chengru, Li Zianglong, Li Jun Hui, Zhu Zhenxian, Yao Tinghan, Li Boxi, Huang Jingfeng

COACH: WEN ZHIJUN