SOUTH Africa Under-23 have the Olympic Games destiny in their own hands!
Gift Motupa inspired Young Bafana to a 3-2 victory in a five goal thriller against Zambia in their Africa Cup of Nations encounter at Leopold Senghor stadium in Dakar, Senegal last night to keep their dreams alive.
Motupa grabbed a brace to help Young Bafana bag all the three points in a nerve wrecking Group A match.
The Young Bafana scored three goals in the space of six minutes after they trailed 1-0 at half-time to stay alive in the group.
Menzi Masuku cancelled out Colynde Luchanga’s opener a minute into the second period.
Katema grabbed the second for Zambia late in the half.
The Young Bafana will face Tunisia on Friday in their last pool game.
After a disastrous start to their campaign, coach Owen Da Gama made six changes in a do or die match against the Southern Africa region opponents.
The Young Bafana lost 3-1 to host nation Senegal at the same venue last Saturday.
The Orlando Pirates pair of Motupa and Masuku, who played in the Caf Confederation Cup final 1-0 defeat to Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel on Sunday, were thrown into the deep end.
The duo joined the team on the eve of the crucial encounter, but Da Gama put them straight into the starting line-up and his gamble paid off.
Goalkeeper Judy February, defenders Tebogo Moerane and Abbubakar Mobara and Dumisani Zuma upfront were the new faces.
The Zambian team lost 2-1 to Tunisia in their opening game as both teams were hoping to get their campaign up and running.
The Young Bafana had everything to play for as skipper Keagan Dolly was carrying the hopes of the team on his shoulders
Zambia took the lead against the run of play through a wonderful volley by Luchanga 10 minutes before the interval.
The Senegalese team exploited the Young Bafana’s suspect defence on day one and the Zambian capitalised on some sloppy defending to break the dead lock.
Da Gama’s men regrouped to make a stunning comeback to win the game in the second half.