Amajita qualified for the Under-20 World Cup in South-Korea. It was a great success for South Africa’s Under-20s, which eventually finished fourth at the Africa Cup of Nations. Kaizer Chiefs were represented by three players in Zambia: Wiseman Meyiwa, Itumeleng Shopane and Siyabonga Ngezana.
“Our prime goal was to qualify for the World Cup,” reflects defender Ngezana, who played in the match for 3rd/4th position against Guinea. “A second goal we had set for ourselves was to make history and win the Africa Cup of Nations, but that wasn’t to be.”
There was immense pressure on the Amajita squad, as most South African followers kind of expected that the talented side would ‘easily’ qualify for the World Cup.
“Yes, that put pressure on us,” admits the 19-year-old defender, who made nine starts for Amakhosi’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, scoring once, “but we absorbed this pressure by doing what we know.”
Ngezana sustained a slight injury during the pre-tournament international friendlies. However, the lanky defender got fit again early on and was selected to start against Guinea.
He learnt a lot, even though not getting much game time. “You actually learn a lot by just sitting on the bench and watching. It was amazing to see the desire, the hunger and the winning mentality of all the players. Also, the immense intensity of the matches, there were no easy opponents. Every game was like a final.”
All three selected Glamour Boys played in the match for 3rd/4th position. “We supported and pushed each other to do better during the tournament, so that we would all be able to start,” Ngezana comments, “to represent South Africa, but also to represent with pride the Kaizer Chiefs Family at the Africa Cup of Nations. We all fought hard to play together and it happened in the last match against Guinea.”
The draw for the World Cup groups will be on Wednesday, 15 April. “I am not worried about what other countries will be in our group,” Ngezana says, “we are mentally prepared for any team, there are only good teams at the World Cup.”