• Argentina thrash Amajita in U20 WC opener

    Amajita were forced to endure a 5-2 defeat against Argentina in their opening Fifa U20 World Cup Group F opener at the Tychy Stadium on Saturday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.

    Thabo Senong’s men are appearing in the global tournament for the second successive time, while La Albiceleste have won the tournament a record six world titles.

    The match in Tychy was the first time South Africa meet the South American giants at under-20 level.

    The Argentine’s got off to the perfect start and broke the deadlock early on when Fausto Vera headed the ball home from inside the box from a resulting corner.

    Amajita began to find their feet in the game and forced their opponents into playing long balls from their own half by attempting to create goals scoring opportunities in the final third.

    Khulekani Kubheka came to his sides rescue in the 16th when he made an easy save to deny Vera’s ambitious attempt at goal.

    South Africa then levelled matters six minutes later when Keenan Phillips found the net with a header after Promise Mkhuma’s delivery into the box from a free kick.

    Amajita should have taken the lead after 37 minutes after Luvuyo Phewa delivered a cross into the area, but Phillips could not fully connect the ball with his header.

    Lyle Foster had a chance of his own three minutes later when he unleashed a strike from inside the 18-yard box, but his effort sailed wide of the target.

    South Africa continued to press forward in the closing stages of the first half as Phewa strike the ball from distance, but the Argentine was up for the challenge to deny the attacker.

    The game went into the half time break with the scoreline locked at 1-1.

    La Albiceleste showee their intent early into the second half as Esequiel Barco forces Kubheka into making a save after his long range effort at goal.

    Senong made his first substitution of the game after 57 minutes when he introduced Oswin Appollis to replace Promise Mkhuma.

    Argentina were then awarded a penalty on the hour mark following a late challenge inside the box by Khupe. Barco steppes up and made no mistake from the spot-kick.

    Things turned from bad to worse for Amajita as they were reduced to 10-men six minutes later after Phillips was shown his marching orders for a bad tackle on Francisco Ortega.

    Argentina then made it 3-1 in the 70th minute when Barco curled his volley into the back of the net.

    Senong made his second substitution a minute later when he brought onLeo Thethani to reolace Kobamelo Kodisang.

    Julian Alvarez then extended his sides lead even further in the 79th minute when he found the back of the net after latching on to a cross from Adolfo Gaich.

    Amajita were dealt a major blow two minutes later as they were forced into making their final substitution when Glen Baadjies came on to replace the injured Khulekani Kubheka.

    South Africa were awarded a penalty of their own in the 84th mibute after Thethani was brought down in the area by Facundo Medina. Foster stepped up to find the net from the spot-kick.

    Thethani had a chance to reduced the deficit in the 89th minute when he unleashed a strike from distance, but the South African eas denied by the Argentine goalkeeper.

    Giach put the game to bed in stoppage time when he slotted the ball home from the resulting corner.

    Argentina managed to hold on to their lead until the final whistle to claim all three points in their opening Group F encounter of the Fofa U20 World Cup.

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