South Africa/Ghana: U17 Team Gears Up for Ghana

The South African Men's Under 17 National Team (Amajimbos) is ready for Ghana in the first leg third round encounter of the African U-17 Youth Championship qualifiers.

The match is scheduled for Saturday, 17 November 2012 at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton.

Kick-off is at 15h00.

This is the last round of qualification, and the home side is well aware that a positive result in the first leg will take them a step closer to qualifying for the 10th edition of the African U-17 Youth Championship scheduled to take place in Morocco from 13 - 27 April 2013.

South Africa has been camp since Sunday (11 November) and their head coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba is full of confidence, despite his charges having had little time to prepare as this match came during schools exams.

"There is an air of optimism and excitement amongst the players as well as nerves, which is quite normal. We don't want to make excuses as some of the players have been writing exams during our preparations, but we are confident we will do well," said Mashaba.

"That we are playing at home does not guarantee us a victory, we have to work for it as much Ghana will be doing. The best form of defence is attack and that is how we will approach this encounter - try to get an early goal and go for more, not defend it."

Mashaba knows what to expect from the opponents.

"Ghana has very tough and skilful players. So we need to focus more on tactical work because we know they also have a very good history in youth football. We expect a difficult day at the office but my players know what's required of them to get victory," added Mashaba.

The return leg match will be played in Ghana in a fortnight.

Read the original story, with tables and illustrations where appropriate.

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