BeezSports International

Logged In: None

Login | Sign Up

Date: 20 July 2017

  African - Soccer

Ghana Premier League: 2012-2013
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group A: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group C: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group B: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group D: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group E: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group F: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group G: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group H: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group I: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group J: 2010-2011
:: Standings
AFCON Qualifiers Group K: 2010-2011
:: Standings

News Headlines

Editorial analysis: Zim & SA U'23 battle-who will conquer?

[Posted 17 Jun 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Team mates at Ajax Cape Town Serero and Billiat will be foes on 25 June, if the former plays

On Saturday the 25th June, exactly eight days from today, the best of South African soccer youth talent and Zimbabwean youth talent will be on display at a venue yet to be decided in Johannesburg South Africa.

The question on the minds of many soccer fans who have followed the progress of the two teams is: which brand of football is going to prevail in the two legs of the All Africa Games final qualifier, is it the Super Diski or the Warriors brand?

Well, there is no easy answer to such an inquiry, and while the Young Warriors have proved more ruthless in the past two qualifiers than their opponents, the Southern Africa derbies involving the two neighbours are always too close to call.

Players to watch out for on 25 June and the return leg

South Africa's Amaglu-glug 

1. Andile Jali

Jali is clearly the best player among the crop of Under 23 youngsters in South Africa at the moment. The versatile Orlando Pirates midfielder was one of the most outstanding players on the local scene during the 2010/2011 season. Others would even go as far as arguing that it was a huge injustice that the former Pretoria University player was not selected as either PSL Player of the Season or Footballer of the Season at the PSL annual awards in May, with both awards going new Ajax Amsterdam signing Thulani Serero's way. 

Jali has a very good reading of the game, plays with a big heart and passion, has great attacking flair and can hold his own defensively as well. All in all, he is the most complete midfielder ever seen in South Africa in the last five years. His hearty and man-of-the match performances for Bafana Bafana away in Cairo from where Bafana returned with a point, is clear evidence of the ability of the youngster. Jali played for the entire 90 minutes in that match in Cairo against the Pharaohs.

Amaglu-glug's play revolves around Jali, and he is a great supplier of the ball, can easily carve open defences from midfield and sets up strikers to score. Jali also has a kneck for scoring crucial goals himself. Closing him down will starve the predatory Bongani Ndulula of his supply lines.

2. Bongani Ndulula

Like Jali, he also hails from Orlando Pirates, and scored one or two crucial goals for Pirates towards the end of the season, as the Buccaneers dramatically won the league for the first time since 2002 on the last day of the PSL matches. Ndulula is not called "Drogba" at Pirates for nothing. He is sure footed and gets into great scoring positions. He is the Amaglu-glug's chief striker, and scores even when the chips are down for the entire team. He demonstrated this by getting his name on the scoresheet away in Benin where the team lost 1-3 in the London 2012 Olympics qualifier.

3. Bongolwethu Jayiya

The Bidvest Wits attacking midfielder is the only member of the SA's Under 23 team whose name appears on the Top goal scorers chart in the just ended ABSA premiership in South Africa. The Wits player contributed 8 goals in the just ended season, and was his club's top goal scorer, even though he played mostly as a midfielder. He is an attack-minded player, who can score if left unmarked.

Zimbabwe's Young Warriors

1. Simba Sithole

The new Mamelodi Sundowns signing is a crucial part of the attack-minded Zimbabwean U'23 squad, but he is not the only dangerous player. Sithole justifies why many Zimbabweans now call him the new "Mr. Goals". He is currently in devastating goal scoring form for both country and the club that he will be leaving in three weeks time, CAPS United. He scored 10 goals in 10 outings in the Castle Lager PSL this season for CAPS. His team CAPS, has been inconsistent and, had the club been consistent, the youngster could have scored more goals. He is currently the Castle Lager PSL's leading scorer.

The goals he scored include two hattricks. On his day, he can single-handedly destroy opponents. He has proved that not only at club level. Against Zambia away in Lusaka, Sithole grabbed a brace as the Young Warriors ran out 3-2 victors in an All Africa Games first round qualifier. Against Botswana in the same competition, Sithole also weighed in with another brace as the Young Warriors beat the young Zebras 4-1 at Rufaro Stadium.

2. Archieford Gutu

Some argue that so far, Gutu has been the talisman of both Dynamos and the Young Warriors. He is a great supplier of clean passes, and that goes without saying, he is a visionary and clearly the Zim Under 23 team's livewire. The team has demonstrated however, that the Warriors' player is not indispensable when they crushed Botswana 4-1 without him, as he served his suspension from the first leg. Gutu is fast becoming a good ffree-kick taker and weighs in with crucial goals for club and country. He is currently injured and the techincal team hopes that he will recover on time to play a role in South Africa next weekend.

3. Khama Billiat

Billiat is not new to South African players. They know his ability very well, given the way he terrorised defences in the ABSA PSL this season, scoring 9 times in the league, and 11 times overall for Ajax Cape Town, mainly from his attacking midfield role. If there is a player who causes real danger to Amaglu-glug's chances of qualifiying for the All Africa Games in Maputo in September, then it has to be Billiat.

Khama is a very versatile player, has great speed, is a dribbling wizard and can easily be turned into a strike partner for Sithole. BUT, if Friday Phiri wants to get the best out of the player, he should allow him a free role, either from the wings in a 4-4-2 formation, or just behind Sithole in a 4-4-1-1 formation where he will have the freedom to drift wide or attack from deep. He is such a joy to watch when he has freedom in the team. Billiat has already graduated into the senior national team where he has played well so far.

4. Ovidy Karuru

There are indications that Karuru, star of the Warriors' 2-1 victory over Mali on 5 June in Harare, will be joining camp and will play a role in South Africa on the 25th June. If that happens, then that clearly tilts the favour in the Young Warriors' side. Karuru plays his club football in France with US Bolougne. He is a complete midfielder, and can play anywhere in midfield, whether central or attacking midfield, but he is more dangerous when he goes forward, as the Malians learnt painfully at Rufaro two weeks ago.

Karuru literally won the match for Zimbabwe against Mali single-handedly as his two assists led to Zimbabwe's two goals, which were both scored by Knowledge Musona, who has been barred from participating by his club Kaizer Chiefs. Karuru supplies the ball to strikers well, has amazing dribbling skills, and can weigh in with goals when chips are down. Confirmation of his participation is anxiously awaited by millions of Zimbabweans who are aware of what the youngster can do.

Each team's strengths and advantage over the other

South Africa

The Amaglu-glug squad has been playing together for a very long time now. They had a training camp outside the country, in Europe early this year, have had numerous camps within South Africa, and have played together in more competitive matches than the Zimbabweans. In fact before this match, Shakes Mashaba's team would have played two crucial 2012 Olympic qualifiers, while the Zimbabweans have not even played a competitive friendly match. The team also boasts a good number of players who play regular football in the ABSA PSL like Jali, Jayiya, Ndulula, Daren Keet (Bidvest Wits),Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Moroka Swallows), Thandani Ntshumayelo of Supersport, among others.

It goes without saying saying, South Africa has a betetr financial muscle than its northern neighbour and clearly that has a role to play when it comes to the team's preparations for crucial matches. It is easier for Amaglu-glug to arrange training camps and arrange friendly matches, while the Zimbabweans always struggle even to hold a camp at home because they may lack the finances to book any venues or even cater for the players. The senior national team failed to hold a camp longer than a week or arrange a friendly match before the crucial AFCON qualifier against Mali early this month. 

Zimbabwe

What the Zimbabweans lack in terms of planning, organisation and finances, they compensate with great talent and skill. In the last two rounds of the All Africa Games, the Young Warriors have played against two opponents who were already participating in the 2012 London Olympic Games,that is, Zambia and Botswana, and prevailed.

The Young Warriors have more players with regular first team experience  at topflight clubs in the country, and a good number who are playing regular first team football at  foreign clubs. Players such as Liberty Chirava (Chicken Inn), Sithole of CAPS who will now move to Sundowns, Lincoln Zvasiya (FC Platinum), Knowledge Machona (Monomotapa) captain Qadr Amini of Gunners who might move to Orlando Pirates soon, Khama Billiat (Ajax Cape Town), Ovidy Karuru (US Bolougne, France), Archieford Gutu, Devon Chafa (Dynamos) are all playing regular football with topflight clubs. 

The Zimbabweans appear to have more balance between midfield and strikeforce than their opponents. While the defence boasts good talent such as Amini, Machona, Zvasiya and Morris Kadzola, results from the past games do not depict  the defence as a strong area of the team. In only four matches, the Young Warriors have conceded a total of 6 goals while scoring 10 goals, giving a goal difference of plus four goals, and on average that translate to a plus one goal difference after each of the four games. They should do better. 

Friday Phiri's team has great attacking flair, and is not the kind of a team that will sit at the back and try to defend a lead. In fact the team gives more than they receive. While that may be an advantage, it can easily become a disadvantage when goals just dry up despite the numerous scoring opportunities a team may create. There is need to protect the back four. Probably either Devon Chafa or Abbas Amidu will need great technical discipline in the central midfield. The other option is to move Machona more into defensive midfield, especially with the presence of Karuru who could occupy one of the central midfield roles.

Verdict

It is not easy to predict the outcome of the Zone VI All Games final qualifier given the attacking abilities of both teams. One thing is certain though, the fans at Rand Stadium or any other venue to be decided, will be treated to goals galore on the 25th June. Results such as a 2-2 draw, a 2-1 win for Amaglu-glug or even a 3-2 victory for the Young Warriors are very possible. Based on the two teams' performances in the past few months, there is reason for many neutrals though to believe that the Young Warriors have a slight edge over their Southern Africa counterparts.

Advertisements

AFCON 2013
Live Coverage
::To be Advised (as Games come)

Useful Links
:: Sports Discussions
:: Soccer News Archives
:: Zimbabwe Warriors
:: Affiliates (Reporters)
:: Suggestion Box
:: Soccer Regulations
:: Other Soccer News
:: Sports Academies

Follow Us on Twitter

Advertisements

To ADVERTISE, email to "sales at beezsports dot com"

 
Disclaimer | Affiliates | Soccer Regulations | Suggestion Box | Sports Academies |© Copyright 2010-2011 BeezSports International