Afcon ticket booked, now Amajimbos target Cosafa crown

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Lombe Mutale of Zambia tracks down Amajimbos striker Sanele Sikhosana during their Cosafa Championship clash in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Gavin Barker / BackpagePix
Lombe Mutale of Zambia tracks down Amajimbos striker Sanele Sikhosana during their Cosafa Championship clash in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Gavin Barker / BackpagePix

SPORT


The SA Under-17 team will represent the country at the U-17 Afcon in Morocco next year, after they accomplished their mission by reaching the final of the Cosafa Men’s Under-17 Championship that ends in Port Elizabeth this weekend.

South Africa will face a familiar foe, Zambia, in the decider set for Gelvandale Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The meeting of the regional adversaries comes three days after their clash in the pool stage on Thursday – a game in which Zambia prevailed 1-0 to win the group, while South Africa finished as runners-up.

Angola and Malawi will face off in a bronze match as the curtain-raiser for Sunday’s final.

The tournament was reduced to four teams following the disqualification of Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini and Zimbabwe, who were all sent home after they failed the tournament’s mandatory age eligibility test.

The incident forced the organisers to reschedule a competition that serves as the zonal qualification for the continental championship.

Having won their opening match against Eswatini before the tournament was reset, South Africa got a scare in the rescheduled game against Malawi when their clash ended 2-2 last Sunday.

Amajimbos, however, redeemed themselves with a 2-1 win over Angola.

But it was left to the final group games on Thursday to confirm the hosts’ place in the final.

Despite a 1-0 defeat to Zambia, Amajimbos duly rode on their luck as Malawi thrashed Angola 7-1.

I was going to be a bit worried if we were not creating chances, but we are creating them. The only thing eluding us is scoring, but we are going to rectify that.
Amajimbos head coach Vela Khumalo

Amajimbos head coach Vela Khumalo said he aware of the favourable result, but didn’t relay the message to his team that despite trailing against Zambia, South Africa would still qualify for Afcon.

“We knew about the [other] result, but we encouraged the boys to keep possession of the ball. It was just a rehearsal...,” said Khumalo.

He described Zambia as a hard-running team, but blamed a temporary lack of concentration by his charges to concede a goal with six minutes remaining.

“It was just a lapse of concentration, but you can only say these are young boys and we need to help them grow and understand the critical moments of the game.”

With the Afcon ticket secured, Khumalo said his team had shifted its focus to ensuring that the Cosafa title remains on our shores.

Read: Cosafa U17s rocked by age fraud

The coach, however, pointed out that they could only achieve this if his side were to convert the many chances they create.

“I was going to be a bit worried if we were not creating chances, but we are creating them. The only thing eluding us is scoring, but we are going to rectify that.”

“Zambia play a high-tempo game [and] if we don’t bring our A-game we’ll have a problem. However, if we come back well-strategised we’ll come out victorious. The first game was a big test for us,” said a highly confident Khumalo.

Cosafa Sunday fixtures

(Both matches will play at Gelvandale Stadium)

Third-place play-off

Angola vs Malawi (10am)

Final

Zambia vs South Africa (3pm)


. You can follow the action live on SuperSport Variety 4 (DStv channel 209), on cosafa.tv, or via cosafa.com


facebook
twitter
linkedin
instagram

Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has written a letter suspending party president Cyril Ramaphosa in apparent retaliation after he was served with a letter of suspension on Wednesday.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
He doesn't have the power
31% - 140 votes
It’s a declaration of war
24% - 109 votes
Nothing but a distraction
44% - 199 votes
Vote