A late goal from Saudi Arabia Under-23’s Ramzi Holan was enough for the home side to steal a win against South Africa in a grueling encounter both sides came highly motivated to win.
Coach David Notoane’s charges were the first ones to put their names on the score sheet through Zakhele Lepasa’ superb finish, following a brilliant assist from fagrie Lakay in the 42nd minute from the far side.
The home side, though, quickly responded with a goal of their own through Ayman Khalifa’s finish to make matters even just before the stroke of halftime.
The second half proved to be a different ball game from the first as both sides played with more aggression and intent of pressing forward in search for goals.
Nasser Oloran converted from the spot-kick in the 87th minute following a late challenge by Given Msimango inside the 18-yard box. South Africa, though, quickly responded with a goal of their own with a Lakay finish from a tight angle. Lakay’s goal came a minute later after Saudi Arabia had taken the lead of the match.
However, It was not to be for South Africa on the night, as Holan’s late strike ensured the home side their first win of the scheduled two friendly matches here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The second friendly match between the two sides will take place at King Abdulaziz Sport City Stadium on 17 November, before the Notoane and his charges fly back to South Africa on the 18th.
Notoane is using both of these friendly matches as part of his preparations for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
South Africa Starting XI: Sifiso Mulungwana, Njabulo Blom, Sifiso Ngobeni, Given Msimango, Katlego Mohamme, Sipheshle Mkhize, Fagrie Lakay, Jamie Webber, Zakhele Lepasa, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Promise Mkhuma
Subs: Siyabonga Ngezana, Malebogo Modise, Thabiso Monyane, Darren Johnson (G), Tercious Malepe, Leletu Skelem, Goodman Mosele, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Shane Roberts.
South Africa…… (1) 2
Zakhele Lepasa 42, Fagrie Lakay 88
Saudi Arabia….. (1) 3
Ayman Alkhulaif 45+, Nasser Oloran 87, Ramzi Holan 90+
This article was previously published on SAFA.net