South Africa’s Amagluglug were on the receiving end of a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of hosts Egypt at the 2019 Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations semifinal at the Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday to miss out on one of their chances for automatic Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification.
Amagluglug will now face Ghana in Friday’s third-place play-off, where victory will see them qualify for the Olympic Games, but they will definitely be largely under pressure now as they have narrowed their odds.
The game was riddled with controversy as Egypt were awarded a penalty for a handball that was clearly outside the box with South Africa later on denied one in similar circumstances.
Egypt will now meet the Ivory Coast in Friday’s final, with both teams now under “less” pressure having already sealed their place at the Olympic.
There is still much to play for in Friday’s bronze-medal match, an Olympic Games qualification being the ultimate prize.
South Africa coach David Notoane will feel hard done by the referee where the home side were “gifted” a rarely deserved victory.
The manner in which defeat came must have been a bitter pill to swallow for the coach and his charges who now need to look on the brighter side and secure their Olympic berth in the match against Ghana hoping it does not end in agony.
By Gerald Dandah