Mmegi Online :: Diamond Zebras off to a solid start
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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Diamond Zebras off to a solid start

The Diamond Zebras began their quest to qualify for the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations finals with a 1-0 win over Mauritius in a COSAFA Challenge opener yesterday.
By Kabelo Boranabi Fri 20 Jul 2018, 14:03 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Diamond Zebras off to a solid start








The young Zebras benefited from a late penalty that was converted by winger Oageng Maphorisa in the 82nd minute.

Playing in front of a half packed but rather intimidating crowd at the St. Louis Xavier, the Diamond Zebras looked shaky for the first 10 minutes of the game but did well to deny the hosts a chance at goal.

With the host failing to capitalise from the limited chances they got from set pieces where they looked threatening, Itumeleng Duiker’s boys started to find their rhythm with Kaone Kolagano and Maphorisa orchestrating the moves. 

Despite their efforts, the local boys could not find their lone striker, Kealeboga Bonang who was well guarded by the opposition defence as the teams went to the break level at 0-0. The scoreline stayed the same in the second half. With the match appearing destined for a draw, Duiker changed the script as the boys started to use the wings to attack Mauritius.

With only nine minutes to time, from a cross, Kolagano headed past the goalkeeper but

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the ball was handled on the line by the opposition defender resulting in the hosts being reduced to 10 men and a penalty for the Diamond Zebras. Maphorisa stepped up and converted to give Duiker’s charges the three crucial points.

Speaking to Kwese TV after the game, Duiker said he was happy to get sweet revenge on Mauritius and lauded his troops for the level of discipline they kept in the game. 

“My boys played well today. They beat us last (in 2017) but we planned well for them today. We kept the discipline and I was very impressed. Mauritius really gave us a run. From here, we will take one game as it comes and I hope the guys will keep their heads up but not be carried away,” he said. The win takes the Diamond Zebras to second in Group A, level on points with Namibia. The western neighbours hammered Seychelles 8-3 and boast of a better goal difference. The Zebras face Seychelles on Saturday afternoon. 

 

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