SA U23 Olympic soccer team to play against Japan in opening match
JOHANNESBURG - The wait is over as South Africa’s U23 men take on Olympic Games hosts Japan on Thursday afternoon.
The team has experienced a few hiccups ahead of the opening match, with three members of the team testing positive for COVID-19 while inside the Olympic bubble. The three team members - players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha - are in the Tokyo 2020 isolation facility.
The U23 Olympic team has been boosted with a duo from Kaizer Chiefs, Reeve Frosler and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
Frosler and Ngcobo were part of the Kaizer Chiefs team which lost to Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final in Casablanca, Morocco.
“We have had a very long trip and are still a bit disappointed at the weekend’s results, however as professionals we are now settled in Tokyo and will be 100% ready to play if we are selected in the opening match,” said Frosler.
David Notoane’s team have been drawn in Group A alongside hosts Japan, France and Mexico in their quest for a medal in the 12-nation competition.
Top soccer-playing nations in the world will be battling it out for gold at the Tokyo Games with Spain, Argentina, Brazil, France and Germany being the favourites in the men's football tournament.
SA will play Japan on Thursday, 22 July at 13:00 SA time, followed by France on Sunday, 25 July (10:00 SA time) and Mexico on Wednesday, 28 July (13:30 SA time). The final is on Saturday, 7 August.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the quarterfinals.
This article first appeared on EWN : SA U23 Olympic soccer team to play against Japan in opening match