Youthful Warriors advance at Youth Games
The young warriors on Wednesday marched into the semifinals of the African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games Men’s Competition following their goalless draw with South Africa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The youthful team was held to a 0-0 draw by South Africa but that proved enough to finish runners-up in pool B, behind winners Zambia. Zambia thumped Lesotho 4-0 to continue their excellent form in this competition. Patrick Ngoma headed Zambia in front before Harrison Musonda grabbed a brace in the second half and Ngoma got his second late on.
There will be one match in Group A on Thursday as Angola look to keep their hopes of a semifinal place alive when they take on Swaziland at the Luveve Stadium. If Angola draw they will need Malawi to defeat Zimbabwe in their clash on 12 December, while a win for Angola would be enough if Zimbabwe cannot find three points against the Malawians.
Malawi sealed their place in the semifinals with a 1-1 draw against Swaziland. The point moves them to seven in their three games, a mark only Zimbabwe and Angola can match, but as Malawi defeated the Angolans 1-0 in the earlier pool games, they cannot be overhauled.
Wandile Dlamini put Swaziland ahead just before halftime, but after they had Melusi Nyaweni sent off for a second bookable offence, Malawi took advantage of their extra man and equalised through Yusuf Luwanda seven minutes from time.
A 1-1 draw between Namibia and Botswana ensured that the South Africans could not be caught at the top of the mini-league with one round of matches to be played. Chedza Katsibe had put Botswana in front in Wednesday’s clash, but Natasha Vekarapi equalised for Namibia in the second half.
South Africa have six points from their two games, followed by Zimbabwe (three), and Namibia and Botswana with one apiece.
Zimbabwe could draw level with the South Africans in the final round of games if they beat Botswana and the pool leaders lose to Namibian, but tournament rules state that teams are separated on their head-to-head record and with South African having already beaten Zimbabwe 5-0, they would still be in front.