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12th AAG: South Africa U-20 Coach Mkhalele Rues Defeat To Flying Eagles

12th AAG: South Africa U-20 Coach Mkhalele Rues Defeat To Flying Eagles

South Africa’s U-20 team interim coach, Helman Mkhalele, says they were unfortunate to lose their 2019 All Africa Games Group A match to Nigeria, saying that luck was not on their side on the day.

Amajita lost 2-1 to Nigeria on Tuesday despite a spirited performance by the players.

Mkhalele rues the missed chances created by Amajita in that tie, adding that the scoreline would have been different had his side been more clinical in front of goal.

“Looking at the team’s overall performance, I must say that I am very pleased with how the boys carried themselves on the pitch,” Mkhalele told South Africa Football Association official website.

“They gave a very solid performance, however, it was quite unfortunate that the results did not go our way.

“We created a whole lot of chances which I believe we should have scored from. I also believe that we can only improve and grow from this experience going forward.”

Mkhalele fielded eight new players to represent South Africa at national U-20 level. The Bafana Bafana legend stated that this new breed of young players gave a good account of themselves, adding that they can only grow from this experience.

Mkhalele says they will push for nothing but a win when they take on Burkina Faso in their next Group A fixture at the Stade Municipal El Mansouria on 23 August.

“I am also pleased with the number of new players we gave the nod to start in this match,” Mkhalele said.

“They gave a good account of themselves, though this was for the very first time they were playing together at this level.

“Our next group match is against Burkina Faso,” Mkhalele added.

“We really want to win that match. There are a few players who got knocks in our first group match against Nigeria and we will sit down with the medical team to get a full report on whether they will be available for selection or not.

” We will prepare the team the best way we can and push for a desired win in that tie.”

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  • Edoman 2 years ago

    Words don’t win matches. Beating South Africa in soccer is all the stylish Nigerians know how to do.

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Helman “Midnight Express” Mkhalele played in the 1990s, a time when SA football was completely dominated by Nigeria. So his bullish attitude is a reflection of changing times……with SA assuming a more competitive stance against us. Indeed, they have racked up some impressive results against us recently. As SA continue to work to reduce the gap between us, we also continue efforts to maintain our dominance over them.

    • @Pompei

      ” ….As SA continue to work to reduce the gap between us, we also continue efforts to maintain our dominance over them.”

      Chinua Achebe would put it slightly differently: “Since hunters have refused to shoot without missing, birds have learnt to fly without perching.” —- Never mind, that’s a close paraphrase. I didn’t memorise the great poet’s writings.

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    Rather,their first group game against the host team Morocco.
    A very selfish coach who never says nothing about the victorious and better opposition.
    It’s just all about South Africa yet they are on the losing side how sarcastic those words sounds,hehe..funny indeed,sore loser.

  • Quite clearly, Nigeria produces more technical players than South Africa so much so that their brilliantly organised league has helped propelled them above Nigeria over the years; but this will not continue.

    If the South African league continues to be professionally organised while ours decline in management and organization, this will help them continue to narrow the divide between them and us.

    On a related point, well done to Aighogun’s boys for the victory against South Africa: a win against them at any level regardless of the gender is always heartwarming.

    • ##Correction##

      Quite clearly, Nigeria produces more technical players than South Africa so much so that their brilliantly organised league has NOT helped propelled them above Nigeria over the years; but this will not continue.

      • Mr Hush 2 years ago

        Respect to everyone’s view,(as it relates to South Africa closing the gap on Nigeria);
        I beg to differ. I am seeing things from another angle.
        South Africa has always being good.
        They played the nations cup even before Nigeria got independence.
        Yes due to apartheid,they were banned from international football activities,but they still had a good league structure; albeit in different race categories.
        Even when Nigeria hasn’t had a league,and the only real challenge (in terms of club competitions) in Nigeria was the FA cup.
        And in the 90s ,after the fall of apartheid,when South Africa came back to the international scene; they were good to go,cause they had a good league structure already,so had the players to be competitive.
        So it wasn’t a surprise when they won the nations cup in 96 (suffice to say, Nigeria wasn’t there due to political reasons we all know).
        My point is, South Africa has always being a thorn . They have always had the structure . Even when Nigeria was beating them earlier on; they were stubborn and tough. The only difference then is because we had a super Eagles that has synced well with each other, (this was the westerhof’s Eagles we are talking about). The South Africans were good but Nigeria was better.
        For the under age teams, we have always being miles ahead of everyone else,not only SA; the exception is maybe Ghana. We always have the numbers,and not just numbers,technical and gifted kids,way ahead of others. It is simply natural .
        For the female teams; we have been playing female football when the rest of Africa find it a taboo.(atleast most of them).
        And now,nothing really has changed.
        Yes,our league isn’t up to it anymore.but the fact is,the South African league has always been better than ours; Orlando pirates won the Caf champions league even before any Nigerian club did.  And the only reason a South African club haven’t won it sooner than then was biggest of their international ban.
        The point I am trying to make is; 
        1. No matter what, we are far more talented than the South Africans.
        It is only natural.
        2. Yes,talent alone can’t do much but we shouldn’t forget ,just because our league isn’t good doesn’t mean we stopped playing football. We still play in the streets. We still have academies. We still have the Nigerian grit that forces us to find greener pastures to continue playing our game; and we still have lots of boys outside our shores playing, not forgetting the foreign born Nigerians. To all these, South Africa is limited.
        3. South Africans would always be a brute and arrogant,especially as it relates to Nigerians. It is in their DNA to be proud. It is their schtick. Even if they know you are far better,they are always blinded by their pride to think otherwise,they feel it is a positive thing. More so, we all know the political,social and economical battle undertone going on between both nations. It is more like an open secret; the South Africans hate the fact we beat them in almost everything (even in relationships..lol), so they would always be arrogant on the field of play and  even in defeat .
        So it is a point to every Nigeria team beating them no matter how hard the battle was fought.
        4. It is hard to beat a rival opponent; and to continue beating that rival opponent is something. I can count on my ten fingers,how many times the South Africans have beaten Nigeria ( and that’s across all level of football teams,home,neutral and away).the highest they get is a draw. To say they have had our number in recent times is far from the truth. They won 4 recent matches. against the Super Eagles,the Mandela challenge(2-1),at Uyo(2-0). Against the Super falcons ,the last nations cup(1-0) and the last u20 cup of nations ,where they won the bronze place match on penalties. Apart from those, we have being winning or they got just a draw. And we win when it is important. They know that. And Aigbogun’s team continued that track record . 
        5. For me, maybe one day South Africa would turn the tide and get to beat us as they wish,but I don’t think it is anytime soon, at least not in football; maybe rugby..

        This is my take.

  • Thanks for your feedback Mr Hush.

    The long and short of it is that, over the years, Nigeria has always produced players who have the edge (however slight; however substantive) over South African players which have directly translated in our much favourable head-to-head record against them across age range and by gender.

    In fact, it can be argued, that there was a time when our league was more competitive than what it is at the moment which further enhanced the possibilities of getting better results against South Africa regardless of whether the players we field are home based or foreign based. Those were the days when we can expect some of our clubsides to play and beat South African clubs.

    Nowadays, I don’t expect our clubs to get favourable results against South African clubs neither will I automatically expect a positive result against them in CHAN competitions (for home-based players).

    That said, we did beat them 3:1 in 2014 CHAN and we have excelled far better than them in CHAN in the last 3 editions (reaching the semi-finals twice with medals to show for effort). All these despite not having a league we can be proud of.

    But, having the sort of league that South Africa has, has its benefits. Local players with be exposed to good quality training materials and the influx of decent players from other parts of the continent will only help the local players learn new things and improve their standards long, long term.

    Beyond rivalry with South Africa, not having a decent league is badly damaging the growth of our national team.

    Some of the foreign born players that we now endlessly clamour for invitation to the national team are (in my view) not better than many Nigeria-born player who – rather than play and thrive in a well-run and managed domestic league – have eloped to pitiful leagues in Albania, Singapore or Turkish division 2.

    If our league was better run, I want to believe that – with the array of talents at our disposal (both indigenous and foreign born) – the gulf between us and South Africa will be much wider than it is at the moment with the prospect of not narrowing any time soon!

  • South Africa will start beating Nigeria wit ease after 2038 world cup .

    • Aauxtyne 2 years ago

      @Olu, 2038? Based on what indices? RSA really not have it smooth with us. So, how would they start beating us from 2038? Haven’t you heard that we have always had skilful players than they had?