15 December 2023 – The South Africa boys and girls continued their march in the 2023 CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe, after both sides reached their respective finals on Friday.
The South African boys will face Malawi in the final on Saturday, 16 December 2023 while SA girls coach Ntombifuthi Khumalo’s side will tackle Botswana on the same day.
The three-day regional tournament is approaching the business end after the top boys and girls in the Under-15 age-group showcased their talents in Harare. The South Africa boys and girls have made the country proud since the start of the tournament on Thursday and will hope to crown an impressive week with the regional titles.
SA boys co-coach Dave Roberts said they are looking forward to the final.
“Today was Day 2 and we started early this morning with a 9am game against Namibia. We came out as 2-1 winners, and we were 2-0 up and then conceded just before halftime,” he said.
“Two really well-worked goals – the first one was a penalty and then the second was a really nice combination play finished by Jordan Hope. The earlier penalty was scored by Hayden Boyson. So overall a reasonable performance. I think that we felt that we didn’t quite get out of third or fourth gear, probably missed a few more opportunities than we would have liked but generally we were in control and obviously a good result.
“But we just felt there was more to come. We then played a Madagascar team that was playing in a very deep block, pretty well-organised. We did hit the post twice in the first half and were generally quite dominant in it, but it was hard for us to break them down and that game finished 0-0.
“So again, we probably felt that there was more to come, but I think overall most crucially we have made it through to the final as group winners. Tomorrow at 12pm we will play Malawi in the final. We have been monitoring Malawi’s progress and watched them right from game one where they were very strong against Zimbabwe.
“We see they have got a lot of energy, and a lot of pace in their team. It will be a really good game, and I am sure that the boys are up for it. We are carrying no major injuries, quite a lot of belief and I think also there is a feeling that there is more to come out of this squad. I think we don’t feel like we have peaked yet. So, I think tomorrow in the final will be a great day to do that.”