THE South African under-17 side booked their special place in history and the final of the African Championships after Khanyisa Mayo’s first-half strike handed the side a 1-0 win over Nigeria yesterday.
The semifinal win in Niamey means South Africa have reached the decider of the U17 continental championship for the first time ever and will now contest Sunday’s gold medal match against either Mali or Guinea, who play today.
Molefe Ntseki’s side had already booked their place at the Fifa U17 World Cup in Chile later in the year – the first time they will be at that event – and can now add a continental crown to that achievement too.
Mayo, the son of former Bafana Bafana player Patrick, netted the winner when he supplied a neat finish midway through the first half.
That goal came against the run of play and Nigeria continued to dominate for much of the remainder of the match, with the South Africans thankful for the excellent form of goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto, who saved the side on a number of occasions.
Young BidVest Wits forward Luvuyo Mkatshana should have made it 2-0 when he found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat, but his weak shot was easily saved.