Matthew Booth on performance of the South Africa’s under 23s Olympic team

Image | @EmbassyofRussia

Former Bafana Banana and under 23 Defender Matthew Booth joined Kaya Sports this morning to talk about the team performance in the Tokyo Olympics.

The team is on the cusp of being knocked out of the tournament following to poor performance against Japan and France.

Listen to the full conversation here: 


Booth spoke about the game between the under 23s and Japan on Thursday, when the team went into battle against hosts on day one of competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The side lost 1-0 to a more determined Japanese side in their Group A.

“South Africans need to put into consideration the preparation or lack there of, the immense hurdles the team had to climb over so to speak to get to this stage. What’s really frustrating about that is the very average game against Japan, we had this game in the bag. There were certain periods in the game where we were quite naive, I think it’s all we well and good of the coach’s hindsight with substitutions that were made.”

On Sunday France came back from behind three times and took the lead when it mattered most in the dying minutes of the match to beat a much-improved South African U23 side 4-3.

South Africa need to score more than two goal against Mexico in the upcoming match, in order to have a fighting chance to progress to the second stage of the Olympics.

Booth said the team will hopefully get over they disappointments in the game so far and raise they game. “I get the feeling we really needed to get points against Japan and France.” He also spoke about why it’s important for the national team to expose younger players to international games as a preparation for a much stronger Bafana Banana team.

“The whole point of having a junior national team is not for them to win, but to give them the experience, of the Olympics, of the Juniour World Cup, of the Juniour Nations Cup, so that when they play for the national team they don’t have stars in their eyes.”

The team will take on Mexico on Wednesday.