The team from South Africa finished third at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations and will have the chance to play in their second consecutive Olympics. They played three games in 2016, and lost one game and had two draws.
National team coach David Naughton will be hoping for a better performance from the Olympic players. He will need to rely on players from local championships that are not well-known. But even if they win, it could help South African players get notoriety and then they can play football in Europe.
France national team
The World Cup champions hope that Tokyo Olympics will unlock the next great generation of French talent. The squad is impressively well-staffed with French Ligue 1 players, although it will not include PSG striker Kylian Mbappe, 22, who was disappointingly left the French national team during last week’s Euro 2020.
Coach Sylvain Ripaul, who led France to the semi-finals of the 2019 U-21 European Championship and played qualifying games against the French for the Olympics, has only called up three players to the Olympic team who have been to Euro 2020.
France could become the 6th country to have won more than one Olympic gold. France won the last gold in Los Angeles in 1984.
FRENCH VS SOUTH AFRICA
France lost their first two games. They barely won the next game. France does not have a team. There is no chemistry between them and they cannot create anything because the opponents stay focused on them. Gignac tries to open up for passes, but his teammates do not help him much and he cannot make any plays happen.
The French defenders did a silly thing at their own goal. They kept the game tied until half-time when Touzar hit the ball inside Kodisang’s net and Singh missed the penalty shot. But in the end, France won because they scored on Michelin when he intercepted a pass from deep and then fed Kodisang one-on-one.
This moment was one of many in this game. South Africa played better than France. Wingers Kodisang and Singh looked like gods against the French defense – they had 70% good dribbling on two. The boys literally drove France – Kodisang ripped down the flank and set up the second goal, while Mokoena scored the third with a gorgeous shot under the crossbar.
Gignac punished the Africans for slacking off
The South Africa team was doing well. They had won many times. But they became tired and relaxed after each goal. France would then score quickly, because the South Africa team wasn’t concentrating hard enough. The captain scored two goals in a row. He did that by breaking between defenders and passing the ball to himself under them.
Andre Pierre won the match for France from the penalty spot. In the penalty shoot-out, he helped Savannier score his fourth goal. Africa played well too, but they made mistakes and France was better. The team captain, who led South Africa, scored a goal too.
France scored 3 goals to get the win in their game. France was playing better than their opponents for most of the game. But at the end, they missed an easy shot and their opponents could have made it 4-3. France is now 3 points ahead of other teams and will make it into the play-offs next week.