‘We are on course for Olympics’ – Rikhotso

Bloemfontein Celtic defender Tshepo Rikhotso believes the South African Under-23 side are on course in their preparations for the Olympic Games despite their 3-1 loss in Brazil last weekend.

Rikhotso was part of the squad that travelled to South America and says Owen da Gama’s side held their own, but were undone by individual errors that can be worked on.

“Besides losing 3-1, we had a solid performance that was marred by errors that can be rectified,” he told his club’s website.

“The game re-ignited the spirit of togetherness with players like Keagan Dolly saying we have the potential to fight as a unit. The general feeling was we must fight for final selection and attempt to bring some pride with an Olympic medal and that can be achieved if we remain focused.”

The final field for the men’s tournament was completed this week when Colombia defeated USA 3-2 on aggregate to seal their place.

They join fellow South American sides Brazil and Argentina in a strong field from that continent, as well as the European quartet of Germany, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden.

Algeria and Nigeria are the other participants from Africa, while Japan, South Korea and Iraq make up the Asian contingent.

Mexico, Honduras and minnows Fiji complete the field with the draw for the finals due to take place on April 14.