South Africa’s National U20 side (Amajita) lost 2-1 to Nigeria in their opening match of the 2019 African Games taking place in Morocco at the Centre Sportif F.A.R. in Rabat.
Goals by Yira Sor and Abubakar Ahmad in either half of the match were enough to give the West African side the desired result, following their 1-1 draw with Burkina Faso on 16 August.
Amajita were also scheduled to play their opening match against the hosts (Morocco) on the very same day. However, that fixture was postponed as both sides were about to walk on to the pitch for their warm-up sessions by tournament organisers.
In this tie, though, Amajita did not go down without a fight.
In fact, they lacked the needed luck to finish off numerous scoring chances they created against their opponents up in the final third.
Amajita’s first chance at goal came in the fifth minute when Thabo Moloisane surged past his markers inside the 18-yard box on the nearside to whip in a cross to his teammates waiting for it. Unfortunately for the Mamelodi Sundowns defender, his cross was well read by the opposition goalkeeper, who clung on to it before it reach his intended Amajita teammates.
Amajita continued connecting well with impressive touches moving forward, but continued to struggle in finding the back of the net.
In the 27th minute, Nigeria opened their account through Sor who pulled a rocket of a shot outside the 18-yard box to give Nigeria the needed lead going into the break.
In the second half, Ofentse Mashiane scored Amajita’s only goal of the match just 10 minutes into the second half, following a superb delivery from a set piece by Siyanda Msani on the near side.
From this point onwards Amajita played with more aggression in their attack, while keeping matters watertight at the back.
Nigeria found a loophole in that defence in the 76th minute, with Ahmad pulling a rocket of a shot to beat Glen Baadjies between the sticks.
In their next Group A fixture, Amajita will take on Burkina Faso at the Stade Municipal El Mansouria in Rabat on 23 August.