Amajita began their FIFA U20 World Cup campaign with a 5-2 defeat to six-time champions Argentina at the Stadion Miejski on Saturday evening.
Argentina settled the better of the two sides and were rewarded with an early goal in the fourth minute after Fausto Vera powered home a free header from a corner, 1-0.
After struggling in the opening exchanges, Keenan Phillips eventually levelled matters for Thabo Senong’s charges in the 23rd minute with a glancing header inside the box, following a pin-point cross by Promise Mkhuma from a set-piece.
South Africa had their tails up after finding the equaliser, but Esequiel Barco almost sent the South Americans back in front with a curling low shot from outside the area that missed the bottom corner by inches.
Luvuyo Phewa also went close to giving Amajita the lead with two minutes left of the first stanza remaining after unleashing a low strike from just inside the box that was saved by Argentina shot-stopper Manuel Roffo.
Argentina started the second stanza brightly and were threatening to restore their lead but were thwarted by Amajita goalkeeper Khulekani Kubheka on a few occasions.
Just after the hour mark, the referee reviewed a tackle by Givemore Khupe on Cristian Ferreira inside the box on a Video Assistant Referee monitor and awarded a spot-kick to Argentina that was converted by Barco to restore the lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Amajita in the 66th minute after Phillips received a straight red card for violent conduct, after his incident was reviewed by VAR.
The South American side capitalised on playing with an extra player as Barco added a third in the last 19 minutes with a sumptuous curling volley that found the top corner to complete his brace.
Julian Alvarez got the fourth goal for Argentina 12 minutes before time with a simple finish from close range following a cross from Adolfo Gaich on the left wing and effectively ended any hopes of a comeback for Amajita, 4-1.
Amajita were awarded a penalty six minutes before time after Leo Thethani was fouled inside the box. AS Monaco forward Lyle Foster stepped and converted the spot-kick to halve the deficit.
However, Gaich ended any hopes of a comeback in the eight minutes of stoppage after slotting home from close range to seal a 5-2 victory for the six-time champions.