Namibia to meet Zambia in Cosafa final

2010-12-11 13:01

Namibia will mark a maiden appearance in the final of the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship when they go head to head with Zambia tomorrow.

The Namibians staged a late rally en route to their 3-0 demolition of Madagascar in the semifinals at Molepolole Sports Complex yesterday to set a date with the defending champions.

Guided by former Santos midfielder Ricardo Manneti, Namibia endeared themselves to the locals with a fairy tale run that also saw them rubbing into South Africa’s troubles before they emerged as Group B winners when they were on the brink of elimination.

They drew 2-2 with Lesotho and needed to win by at least two goals against South Africa to advance to the knockout stages.

Their 2-0 win over Amajita elbowed Lesotho’s hopes for a semifinal berth.

Ironically, Zambia made a heavy start to the tournament with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Angola and needed an outright 2-0 score line against Mauritius to stay in the tournament – they reached the exact target when they blew Mauritius by two unanswered goals on Wednesday.

Against Zimbabwe, Zambia created far more chances than their opponents, but they managed their breakthrough near the hour-mark, courtesy of a Chakwa Lungu headed effort after 58 minutes.

Zimbabwe hit the post moments later, but lady luck sang a different tune each time the 2007 champions surged nearer to the Zambian goal.

Meanwhile, Namibia found Madagascar a hard nut to crack in their last-four contest on Friday.

It took a spectacular effort from captain Papi Kavezembi with less than 15 minutes remaining to set the tie into a free-scoring frenzy for his side.

Madagascar had a chance to draw level, but missed from the spot when they were on track for a possible comeback.

The annual southern region competition started on Thursday in Botswana and even the last-minute withdrawal of Malawi seemed all forgotten as the final day drew closer.

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