Amajita Cruise Into COSAFA Semis
04 December 2008
 
The South African Under-20 team scored a solid 3-0 victory over the Seychelles at the AR Abass Stadium in Kimberley on Wednesday afternoon, to set up a semi-final clash against Zimbabwe in the 2008 Metropolitan COSAFA Youth Championship.

Mozambique will face Angola in the other semi-final, after both nations finished top of their respective groups.

Phumelele "Ace" Bhengu (SA)
Amajita, with goals courtesy of Masibusane Zongo, Mandla Masango and Thulani Serero, proved to be too strong for a game Seychelles side, who were outclassed for almost the entire 90 minutes of the Group A match. The hosts took the lead when Zongo converted a 10th minute penalty after the referee ruled, somewhat controversially, that Mapidima Smart had been pushed inside the 18 yard area.

South Africa were a little guilty of taking their opponents too lightly in the first half, lacking cohesion and squandering chances. They stepped up a level in the second period and nine minutes in, Kaizer Chiefs forward Mandla Masango scored unchallenged from close range following an incisive combination of passes between Impressive full-back Michael Morton and Mapidima Smart to send the enthusiastic crowd into a frenzy.

Barely five minutes later, Thulani Serero added a magnificent third goal, deftly lobbing the ball on the volley with the outside of his foot, leaving the astonished ‘keeper rooted to his line. Substitute Mpho Mvelase almost put the cherry on top of a fine performance in stoppage time but his effort rebound off the woodwork to safety.

In the other Group A fixture, Zambia secured a 2-1 triumph over Lesotho at the de Beers Stadium. Meanwhile, in the earlier match, defending champions Zimbabwe survived an early scare to come from a goal down to beat Mauritius 2-1 in their final Group C match. However, over at the De Beers Stadium, Malawi's 3-2 win over Botswana meant that they and Zimbabwe both finished level on points and because their head-to-head clash ended in a draw, the group winner had to be determined by the drawing of lots, in accordance with COSAFA rules and regulations. Zimbabwe's name came out of the hat and Malawi were eliminated.

In what is becoming an intriguing tournament for those who are statistically minded, Mozambique advanced to the semi-finals after winning two-team Group D (as a result of the Comoros' expulsion) by overcoming Madagascar 1-0 in the early game at Galeshewe Stadium. They will come up against Angola, who topped Group B following a 2-1 victory over Swaziland, also at Galeshewe.

The semi-finals will take place on Friday at the Galeshewe Stadium, with Angola kicking off against Mozambique at 2.30 pm and South Africa facing Zimbabwe at 5pm

Results and Final Group Standings

Group A

South Africa 4, Lesotho 0
Zambia 3, Seychelles 0
South Africa, 2 Zambia 0
Seychelles 3, Lesotho 1
Zambia 2, Lesotho 1
South Africa 3, Seychelles 0

South Africa 3 3 0 0 9 0 9
Zambia          3 2 0 1 5 3 6
Seychelles    3 1 0 2 3 7 3
Lesotho         3 0 0 3 2 9 0

Group B

Swaziland 3 Namibia 3
Angola 6 Namibia 1
Swaziland 1 Angola 2

Angola       2 2 0 0 8 2 6
Swaziland 2 0 1 1 4 5 1
Namibia     2 0 1 1 4 9 1

Group C

Zimbabwe 3 Botswana 2
Malawi 5 Mauritius 0
Zimbabwe 0 Malawi 0
Botswana 2 Mauritius 1
Zimbabwe 2 Mauritius 1

Zimbabwe 3 2 1 0 7 1 7
Malawi       3 2 1 0 6 4 7
Botswana 3 1 0 2 6 7 3
Mauritius   3 0 0 3 2 9 0
Zimbabwe progress as group winners after the drawing of lots

Group D

Comoros v Madagascar (Match abandoned, Comoros disqualified from championship. Therefore Group D to be decided by Madagascar v Mozambique)
Madagascar 0, Mozambique 0

Mozambique 1, Madagascar.

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