SA U23s lose to Japan

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The SA U23 team is off to a bad start at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

David Notoane’s boys were beaten 1-0 by the hosts Japan today.

A 71st minute wonderful goal by Takefusa Kubo gave the hosts the three points after South Africa had stoically defended for most of the game. It was after they had conceded that David Notoane’s charges started to fashion their own openings and twice could have done better in front of goals.

Japan dominated the first half of the match but created a few chances and in most cases, found the visitors defence unyielding. Captain Tercious Malepe and Luke Fleurs played a sterling role in ensuring that the match remained goalless in the first half while goalkeeper Ronwen Williams also had a brilliant match and kept South Africa in the game until that brilliant goal by Kubo.

Coach Notoane made two substitutions during this match when Kobamelo Kodisang came in for Reeve Frosler in the 78th minute to try in bring some spark to the South African attack and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo came on in the dying minutes of the match.

South African will face France on July 25.

France went down 4-1 to Mexico in their Group A match.

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa