Group A of the men’s soccer tournament is the most interesting and competitive group. It is possible that the future winner will come from this group.
Mexico knows how to win the Olympics, France always has talented players, and the tournament hosts Japan will be more motivated than ever to reach new heights on home soil. Meanwhile, South Africa will be a dark horse against three favourites.
The South African team
The South African team finished third at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. This means that they will be able to go to the 2020 Olympics. In 2016, they went to the Olympics but didn’t win any games.
National team coach David Naughton will be hoping for a good performance from his Olympics players. But he has to rely on players from local championships that are not known by the global football audience. If they win, some of the South African players might get to play in European football because people will know about them.
Group match schedule:
- 22 July, 11:00 am, Mexico vs France
- July 22, 14:00, Japan vs South Africa
- 25 July, 11:00 am, France hosts South Africa.
- 25 July, 14:00, Japan hosts Mexico.
- 28 July, 14:30, France vs Japan.
- 28 July, 14:30, South Africa hosts Mexico.
A young talent to keep an eye on – Luther Singh
South Africa might be able to play in Japan. If they do, Luther Singh will almost certainly be a player who is noticed. He could be one of the tournament’s best players and has already been on the national team for his country and won a Golden Boot at the 2017 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations.
Singh, from South Africa, has played in Europe. He played with a team called Braga. Last season he had five goals and five assists while playing for Pasos de Ferreira. In his free time, he takes some shots on the goal that are very good!
South Africa’s Olympic team line-up:
- Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Sifiso Mlungwana (Golden Arrows).
- Defenders: Katleho Mohamm (Pretoria), Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United), Sibusiso Mabiliso (Amazulu), Abbubaker Mobara (Cape Town City), Tabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirets), Tersaiu Malepe (Minay).
- Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United), Thabo Sele (Kowa), Nkosingile Ngcobo (Kaiser Chiefs), Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirets), Kamohelo Mahlatsi (Moroca Swellows).
- Forwards: Fagri Lakai (Cape Town City), Luther Sing (Braga), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka), Lyle Foster (Vitoria Guimaraes), Kobamelo Kodisang (Braga B).
Veteran leader Abboubaker Mobara
David Naughton has called up two players for the South African team. Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams has little or no experience, but centre-back Abbubaker Mobara will give them experience of playing in Olympic tournaments.
Mobara played all the minutes for Japan in three group stage matches at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was 27 years old at this time and can still help his team when they play defensively.