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Zimbabwe coach applauds SA after qualifying for Afcon

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Zimbabwe coach applauds South Africa after qualifying for U-23 AFCON - Sports Leo

Zimbabwe’s Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya has applauded South Africa who qualified for the CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations after the teams played to a goalless draw at the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, on Tuesday.

The match was the second leg of the final round of Afcon Under-23 qualifiers. In the first leg, playing in Johannesburg, SA won 5-0, which was also the eventual aggregate score.

And South Africa’s coach, David Notoane responded by saying it was crucial for his side not to come into the tie thinking that is was going to be a walk in the park after their resounding victory in Soweto.

Notoane said he was pleased with how his charges responded on the pitch.

“We knew that it was going to be a difficult match. Zimbabwe played with more numbers in their attacking third and we had to manage that.

“I am also glad about how the boys responded to the demands of this game. They managed the pressure well.

“We are happy with the result and we are also looking forward to our group fixtures going into this year’s Afcon tournament.”

Zimbabwe coach Ndiraya said: “I would like to congratulate South Africa for qualifying for this year’s Afcon tournament.

“They gave a good account of themselves in both legs of this round. You could tell that this team has been playing together for a long time by just how they gelled together on the pitch.

“The coach told me that some of these boys have been playing together since 2014 (Under-17 level) in both Cosafa and Afcon tournaments.

“This tells you that they had a long term plan building up to this tournament and I would like to commend them on that. They have proven that nothing beats thorough preparation.”

South Africa now joins hosts Egypt, Zambia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Mali – all of whom will compete for a top-three finish in this year’s quadrennial tournament and earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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