South Africa U23 coach Owen Da Gama has emphasised his side’s need for teamwork ahead of their Rio 2016 clash against Brazil.
Da Gama, who has already named his starting XI, is wary of the threat the Brazilian side faces. With the Selecao boasting the likes of Barcelona star Neymar and new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus, the coach has emphasised the need for a cohesive team unit when they take to the Mane Garrincha Stadium.
The South Africa coach is giving little away when it comes to his plans for dealing with Neymar, Jesus and the likes of Lazio’s Felipe Anderson.
‘I’ll have to keep my cards close to my chest, but it’s fair to say that South Africa qualified by beating Senegal [in the 2015 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations],’ Da Gama told the media, reports KickOff.
‘I believe that because we’ve been playing together a lot, we’ve also achieved a lot together. We also won the Cosafa Cup because we’ve played together.’
The coach then hinted at how his side intends to upset the Brazilians.
‘I believe the only way to negate, or to try and counter Brazil’s threat, is to defend as a team and not concentrate on individuals and man-marking because we know they have quality individual players.
‘For us, it’s to play as a team and I think the collective will always be better than the individual.’
Captain Keagan Dolly shared the sentiments of his coach.
‘We know that they are a good team and that they have good individuals, but it’s just for us to play our normal game,’ he said.
‘We know it’s going to be tough but we need to work as a team and just enjoy the experience.’
The match will take place at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia.
Kick-off is at 21:00 SA time.