16 December 2023 – It was mission accomplished after South Africa won the Boys’ and Girls’ titles at the African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Saturday.

It was the second year in a row that the South African teams completed the double and the two sides will now progress to the continental tournament to be played next year.

Coach Ntombifuthi Khumalo’s Girls’ team got the day off to a winning note after beating Botswana 3-1 through a brace from Khwezi Khoza, who finished as the leading scorer in the competition with 11 goals, and Rethabile Molefe. Amogelang Sebotho scored the consolation for Botswana.

The SA Boys’ team secured the title after beating Malawi 3-0 on penalties after the teams had played to a 1-1 draw during the final.

An elated Khumalo said her young players should be protected and given support during their journey as they are destined for great things.

“I am so happy,” she told www.safa.net.

“It is mission accomplished, and we have won again. Thank you to all the people that have supported these young girls, the parents, the coaches, the South Africans who are behind us and SAFA. I am asking all of you to continue to do more for them because they are the future of our country. We love you South Africa, thank you.”

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan congratulated the two teams and said they had made the country proud. “We are proud of the achievements of our boys and girls who completed the double in Zimbabwe. Schools have always been the bedrock of football development, and our two teams have shown we are in the right direction. This is a great Christmas present from our teams. Well done!,” the SAFA President said.

According to COSAFA, South Africa’s Simama Inganathi was named Player of the Tournament in the Boys’ competition, while goalkeeper Sabrie Losper took home the Golden Glove. South Africa teammate Rhys Ferguson and Zimbabwe’s Sadomba shared the Golden Boot having scored four goals each.

Tournament hosts Zimbabwe took home the Fair Play award. South Africa’s Katleho Malebana was named Player of the Tournament in the Girls’ category, while teammates Angel Zibula won the Golden Glove and Khoza the Golden Boot. Namibia won the Fair Play prize.

The winning associations in the two categories take home $100,000, the runners-up $75,000 and third place $50,000. The awards are decided by the Technical Study Group at the tournament, using data gained from the players’ performances in each match.