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Goal achieved as SA u15 end 3 Nations tournament with a win

By Siya Pongco , in Football | Featured Football | News , at 2023-12-19

South Africa’s u15 national boys’ football team completed the 3 Nations TDS Tournament on a high on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the hosts in Rabat, Morocco. The event was a first experience of international competition for coach Vela Khumalo‘s squad.

The victory was a positive response from the squad, which had gone down 2-4 to Cote d’Ivoire in their first outing on 12 December.

“This has been a great experience for the players and the newly formed technical team,” Head Coach Vela Khumalo told the South African Football Association (SAFA) afterwards.

“We are happy to have accomplished our goal this week, which was to get the players to understand our methodology as a nation.”

It was also a useful exercise for the entire coaching staff, Khumalo said, explaining that the event showed the staff what is working and where work needs to be done.

“We wanted to establish our playing forms, control matches, and impose a possession-based approach characteristic of our South African football DNA,” Khumalo concluded.

SAFA Technical Director Walter Steenbok thanked Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire for the opportunity they had created for the South African squad. He also lauded the FIFA Talent Development Scheme.

“We are grateful to have been part of this journey in 2023 with FIFA,” Steenbok said. “Our journey with the Talent Development Scheme began early this year, where we built a new u15 team through this funding.”

Twenty-one players made the trip to North Africa from a pool of identified players that numbers almost 50.

The goal is to develop an u17 team to compete against the best in the world at the 2025 FIFA u17 World Cup. The host nation has not yet been announced.

Africa has produced a number of FIFA u17 World Cup winners, including Nigeria (1985), Ghana (1991), Nigeria (1993), Ghana (1995), Nigeria (2007), Nigeria (2013), and Nigeria (2015) while African runners-up have included Nigeria (1987), Ghana (1993), Ghana (1997), Nigeria (2001), Nigeria (2009), and Mali (2015).

Nigeria is, in fact, the most successful team in the history of the FIFA u17 World Cup, with five titles and three runners-up finishes. Brazil is in second, with four titles and two runners-up, while Ghana, the two-time champions, are in third place, and also twice finished as runners-up.

With a third place in 1987, Cote d’Ivoire has the best finish of the three nations who participated in the tournament in Morocco.

Interestingly, Africa is also the most successful continental zone in the history of the FIFA u17 World Cup, with the 1993 and 2015 finals being all-African affairs.

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.