Amajita were eliminated from the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup after their 1-1 draw against Portugal at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium on Friday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The South African U20 side came into this game after claim to straight defeats in their first two World Cup fixtures against Argentina and Korea Republic at the Tychy Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese suffered a 2-0 loss to Argentina in their previous encounter at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium, while claiming a narrow 1-0 victory over Korea Republic in their opening match at the global show-piece in Poland.
Amajita showed their intent early on and almost took the lead Kobamelo Kodisang fired his volley inches wide of the top corner from 18-yards out.
Siphesihle Mkhize should have found the back of the net in the ninth minute but steered his headed over the crossbar after latching on to a cross from Khanya Leshabela.
The Portuguese had a chance of their own four minutes later when Trincao unleashed a shot from inside the box, Khulekani Kubheka made a crucial save to any the attacker.
Rafael Leao eventually gave his side the lead with a toe poke after latching on to a cross at the near post, 1-0.
Amajita push forward in search of an equalising goal as Leshabela put a surging pass through to Thabiso Monyane, but the Portuguese keeper anticipated the pass and stepped off his line to clear the ball to safety.
Kubheka came to his sides rescue four minutes later when he made a great save with his left foot to deny Jota a scoring opportunity.
The South African shot-stopper made another brilliant save in the 35th minute to keep out Leao from adding to his goal tally.
Amajita nearly levelled matters three minutes later when Mkhize unleashed a strike from distance, but was unable to find the target as his effort sailed wide of goal.
Fezile Gcaba should have drawn his side level with three minute to play, but saw his long range effort go wide of the target.
Portugal held on to their lead over Amajita as the game went into the half time interval.
South African levelled matters early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty after the referee consulted the VAR. Monyane stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick.
Portugal were awarded a penalty of their own in the 58th minute, Kubheka made a superb save to deny Jota from the penalty spot.
Thabo Senong made his first substitution after the 65th minute when he introduced Promise Mkhuma to replace Oswin Appollis, while Portugal replace Nuno Santos to bring on Pedro Martelo.
Portugal should have taken the lead in the 70th minute but Diogo Queiro’s shot struck thr crossbar before the Amajita defence cleared the ball to safety.
Senong made his second substitution in the 75th minute when he replaced Khanya Leshabela with Muzomuhle Khanyi.
Khanyi should have handed his side the lead a minute after being introduced but his goal-bound effort was well saved by the Portuguese keeper.
Monyane had a chance put his side ahead in the 81st minute when he opted to unleash a strike from 18-yards out, but the midfielder was denied by Joao Virginia.
Amajita nearly put the game to bed in stoppage time when Kodisang produced an shot at goal, but the midfielder saw his effort sail wide of the target as both sides shared the spoils at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium.
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