July 20, 2016

LIVING THE DREAM: SAs Tashreeq Morris

Bafana ready for big Brazil opener.

Bafana U23 striker Tashreeq Morris is excited about facing Neymar in Rio de Janeiro next month.

And Brazil-based teammate Tyroane Sandows says their hosts will be desperate for a football gold medal the nation is missing.

Ajax Cape Town forward Morris believes his manne can do well in the tournament.

They face Barcelona superstar Neymar in their August 4 Group A opener, before taking on Denmark and Iraq.

The top two teams in the group will progress to the quarterfinals.

And the 22-year-old from Mitchells Plain reckons they have what it takes.

He says: “Our chances are good.

“I think the U23s have a very good squad for the tournament. There are great players in the team and, for me, it’s just an honour to be included in the squad.

“Going to the Olympics is a big thing for me.

“It’s something many people dream of, and to be able to have an opportunity to play in such an auspicious event makes me very proud.

“We’ve got Brazil in the opening match and that is something else I’m looking forward to.

“It’s exciting times… Brazil have one of the best players in the world in their squad [Neymar] and we will be up against him… I’m honoured, I’m excited.”

Meanwhile, fellow forward Sandows, who hails from Joburg neighbourhood Westbury like skipper Keagan Dolly, says Brazil are hungry for gold.

The 21-year-old has been with Gremio, Ronaldinho’s first professional club, since he was 11.

And he tells Kickoff.com: “They’ve never won the [Olympic] gold medal so it’s very serious for a power nation like Brazil not winning a major football tournament.

“They are taking it very seriously, hence they’ve called up players like Neymar.

“It’s a very serious tournament for them, especially playing it in Brazil, so the pressure is obviously on them and we have to try and use that to our advantage – put the pressure on them and try to have a good game – and we’ll see what the result is.”

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