Although Jody February would go to lengths to explain he is no leading man, tens of a large number of South African soccer fans would plead to differ. In the end, it was the actual young goalkeeper that proved the complement winner as their side qualified with this year’s Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
Having lost the semi-finals from the CAF Africa U-23 Mug of Nations in order to Algeria, the Amaglug-glug experienced one last chance to book their solution to Rio 2016, but to create it to South usa, the team required to beat hosts Senegal inside a play-off. Having already lost 3-1 towards the west Africans within the tournament’s opening complement, it was always going to become a tough ask from the South Africans. With 15 minutes to visit in the scoreless extramarital relationship, their fate appeared sealed as Senegal had been awarded a fee.
However, February were able to save, and as nor side scored within the remaining time, the match needed to be decided on fees and penalties. Again, February arrived up huge, saving three from the hosts’ four fees and penalties to claim the actual third-place spot along with a ticket to Rio. Only 19 at that time, February downplayed their achievements to FIFA 16 points . “Of course I can understand that people think I was the hero, but it was really a team effort. It was the whole team that got us to the play-offs. Yes, maybe I saved the decisive penalties, but we really did it together.”
The actual goalkeeper, who performs his club soccer for Ajax Cape City, admits that being approved for Rio was not easy. “Of course all of us were confident whenever we arrived in Senegal for that tournament, and we believed within our chances, but then we lost the very first game [to Senegal]. Also it was not just losing it, but additionally the way all of us lost. We were never really within the match and had been down by two after under 15 minutes. We then understood that we would need to be at our best in our following games. ”
Forced to enhance quickly, the South Africans originated from behind to defeat Zambia 3-2 within their second match after which beat Tunisia inside a winner-take-all game because of a dramatic past due winner from Menzi Masuku. A 2-0 reduction to Algeria within the last four meant the Amaglug-glug needed to beat the hosting companies in Dakar, but February as well as his team arrived up big within the shoot-out. “Playing at the Olympics is often a dream come accurate, ” he said concerning the qualification. “I think alongside the World Cup it’s the biggest tournament that the player can play at and when I make the squad after which have a chance to play it would be the highlight of my career to date. ”
To South america and beyond
Southern Africa, whose women’s team also have qualified for the actual Olympics, have been drawn right into a tough group along with Brazil, Iraq as well as Denmark, and they’ll have the honor of facing the hosts within the tournament’s opener. “I am sure it will likely be a very hard match but all teams which have qualified for the actual Olympics are powerful, so whomever all of us will face is going to be tough, ” Feb explained. “Having stated that, Brazil will without doubt use some of the top international superstars as their over-age gamers, so we might be facing some large names. ”
His achievements using the South African Olympic group have allowed February to develop in confidence and he’d seem to possess a bright future forward. Although made their debut for their club’s first team at the start of last 12 months, he has however to command a normal place. “I do think I’m ready and whenever I’ve been called up to play I’ve been there and I’ve been able to assist the club. Now I am getting excited about playing at the Olympics after which I will see what goes on after that.
Feb, who lives aware of his parents and it has decided to focus fully on their football career right now, admits that he’s big ambitions with regard to his career. “Most players within South Africa imagine playing in European countries and playing in the Olympics will certainly let me showcase my capability. “”
Earlier this season, February travelled towards the Netherlands with the actual U-19 team to take part in an international event and although groups like Barcelona, Ajax Amsterdam as well as PSV Eindhoven took part, the South Africans received – beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 within the final. And if he or she manages similar heroics as the ones that took Amaglug-glug towards the Olympics to begin with, it could nicely be that another dream will become a reality for the hesitant hero.