Lourenco and Amajita making waves

Lourenco and Amajita making waves at the Commonwealth Cup

PEC Zwolle’s South African-born midfielder Ricky Lourenco has helped South Africa’s national Under 20 side, Amajita, move into the semifinals of the Commonwealth Cup in Russia.

Firmer Santos player David Notoane’s Amajita side turned on a second half vintage performance to storm into the last four of the Commonwealth Cup taking place in St Petersburg after overcoming hosts Russia 2-0 in a thrilling quarter-final encounter.

The South Africans will now meet Belarus for a place in the final while in another semi-final encounter scheduled for Friday, Turkmenistan play Finland.

After being put under tremendous pressure in the first half, Amajita turned on the heat in the second half scoring two quick goals. It could have been worse for the hosts had Amajita utilised all their chances but the two goals were full value for the hard-work they put in the second stanza.

It was the Russians who started frantically looking for the crucial early goal in the very first minute but goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Dumisani Msibi came off his line quickly to avert danger. The hosts made all the early running desperately searching for the opener.

Getting frustrated by not getting the early opener, Russia resorted to long range shots and one effort almost paid dividends on the 30th minute when a vicious shot from Alexey Yevseev  went narrowly wide of the desperately dividing Msibi.

Siyanda Ngubo and Pule Maraisane then came in after resumption to add some bite upfront. And the move immediately paid off when Maraisane received a pass from Ngubo before planting a well taken strike into the back of the net to make it 1-0 on the 50th minute.

Five minutes later, Siphelele Luthuli made it 2-0 with another individual goal as the hosts seemed bemused on what had stung them.

It could have been 3-0 seconds later but Ngubo’s well-taken diagonal shot went agonisingly wide as Amajita upped the tempo.

Amajita starting 11 against Russia:

Dumisani Msibi, Kabelo Seriba, Motjeka Madisha, Denwin Farmer, Maphosa Modiba, Siphelele Luthuli,Bongane  Mathabela, Tlotlo Leepile, Ricardo Lourenco, Haashim Domingo, Thamsanqa Masiya.