17 May 2018

South Africa/Mozambique: Modise - 'Amajita Can't Afford to Let Mozambique Score'

The defence will have to be solid for Amajita to get past Mozambique in Sunday's second leg, second round of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rustenburg.

So says Malebogo Modise, who plays at left back for the Burger King-sponsored national men's Under-20 side.

South Africa host their continental neighbours at the Moruleng Stadium wth kick-off scheduled for 3pm.

Modise has warned his teammates not to be too relaxed, be solid at the back and lethal in front of goal if they are to go through to the third and final round of the qualifiers.

The two nations played to a 1-1 draw in Beira City last weekend - giving Amajita the away goal advantage.

'The defence will play a big role in this match, we have to make sure they don't [get] anything past us and then we'll have a good chance of progressing to the next round,' says Modise. 'We will have to be switched on from the start. The goal they scored against us was because of our mistake was we allowed them in, but now we'll be stronger than in the first leg as we have seen they can be dangerous if left unchecked,' said Modise.

'With the scores level at 1-1, our approach going forward will have to be lethal and not to waste opportunities like the ones that came our way in Beira City. While the defence shuts the back door, the forwards will have to get goals so we can ease the pressure a bit on ourselves. The advantage is with us but it's too tight to relax, so we have to get a goal early on to make it difficult for them to come back.'

Modise, who played for Amajita in the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, says it's going to be a big battle on Sunday.

'We played to a draw in their backyard and they'll want to come here and beat us because that's the only thing that will get them through, but we don't want to lose to them so it's going to be tough, we will both be fighting for points,' added Modise.

'In the first leg, we didn't know much about them - some of our players were battling and couldn't adapt quick enough in the first half, but in the second stanza they came to the party after they realised how Mozambique were playing. Now that we are aware of what they are capable of, we'll capitalise on their weaknesses and do the best we can to win. This is a very important one for us and we can't relax because of the away goal, we must fight even harder.'

The overall winner between South Africa and Mozambique will meet the winner between Malawi and Angola in the next round of qualifiers scheduled for July.

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