The South African Under-23national team’s dream of playing at the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco later this year came to an end after a 0-0 draw with Congo-Brazzaville in an away second leg qualifier extinguished all hope on Monday.
Notoane made four changes to the starting lineup that played in the 1-1 draw against the Congolese in the first leg at Dobsonville a few days ago, but this was not enough to ease past a determined home side that was also motivated by vociferous home crowd.
The two teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0 after a few missed opportunities from both sides that forced the goalkeepers to work overtime.
It was a much improved second halfperformance from the South Africans, but they could not break Congo and find the crucial goal they desperately sought. Congo managed to keep their nerve and hold onto the 1-1 aggregate and advanced on the away goal rule.
The defeat means South Africa will not be participating in the U23 AFCON tournament to be hosted by Morocco in June 2023 and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
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