South Africa booked their place in the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 semifinals without kicking a ball on Saturday after Lesotho defeated Botswana 1-0 in their Group A clash at the Mogwase Stadium.
The result means South Africa cannot be caught at the top of the table no matter what happens in Monday’s final round of matches, as they would have a better head-to-head record against either Swaziland or Lesotho, the only two teams who can catch them.
Tseliso Botswana scored 10 minutes from time to restore some pride for Lesotho, who had lost 8-0 to South Africa in their tournament opener.
Angola took a step towards the semifinals of competition with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Seychelles in their Group C clash at the Mogwase Stadium on Saturday.
The Angolans have a full haul of six points from their two games so far and will advance to the next stage if they get a draw in their final pool match against Mauritius on Monday.
The islanders can take over at the top themselves with a victory though, making the clash a do-or-die affair for both teams.
Mauritius have never been out of the first round of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships, while Angola have never lifted the trophy despite some near misses, providing plenty for both to play for.
First half goals from Francisco Sacalumbo, Nelson da Luz and Felix Vladimiro, and a late strike via Pedro Alves, gave Angola the three points in a game in which they were never really tested by Seychelles.
Mauritius salved a late 1-1 draw against Sudan after a spectacular goal from Marcus Dimanche five minutes from time.
Sudan looked to be heading for a win when they netted 10 minutes before halftime with another sumptuous strike from Hassan Hassan.
But their elimination from the competition was confirmed when Dimanche volleyed home to salvage a point for the Mauritians.
There are two matches to be played on Sunday at the Moruleng Stadium.
Zambia become the first team into the semifinals if they defeat Malawi in a match that kicks-off at 14h30 (12h30 GMT).
Zambia will be fancied for the win after crushing Zimbabwe 5-1 in their opener, the 10-time COSAFA Under-20 Championships looking arguably the team to beat.
If Malawi lose by three goals or less they will at least be assured of finishing second and eliminating Zimbabwe from the competition. A draw or win for Malawi will also see the Young Warriors drop out.
Comoros Islands and DR Congo will then be given the chance to take over top-spot in Group D when they clash at 17h30 (15h30 GMT).
Mozambique currently lead the pool with two points from two games, with Comoros and DR Congo on a point each. The Comoros are in second though by virtue of goals scored.
Lesotho 1 (Tseliso Botswane 80’) Botswana 0
Angola 4 (Francisco Sacalumbo 20’, Nelson da Luz 33’, Felix Vladimiro 41’, Pedro Alves 90’) Seychelles 0
Sudan 1 (Hassan Hassan 36’) Mauritius 1 (Marcus Dimanche 85’)
14h30 (12h30 GMT): Zambia vs Malawi – Moruleng Stadium
17h30 (15h30 GMT): Comoros vs DR Congo – Moruleng Stadium
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
South Africa 2 2 0 0 9 0 6
Swaziland 2 1 0 1 2 1 3
Lesotho 2 1 0 1 1 8 3
Botswana 2 0 0 2 0 3 0
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Zambia 1 1 0 0 5 1 3
Malawi 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Zimbabwe 2 0 1 1 1 5 1
Group C P W D L GF GA Pts
Angola 2 2 0 0 5 0 6
Mauritius 2 1 1 0 3 1 4
Sudan 2 0 1 1 1 2 1
Seychelles 2 0 0 2 0 6 0
Group D P W D L GF GA Pts
Mozambique 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
Comoros 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
DR Congo 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Matches Played: 12
Goals scored: 31
Biggest victory: South Africa 8 Lesotho 0 (Group A, December 7)
Most goals in a game: 8 – South Africa 8 Lesotho 0 (Group A, December 7)
2 goals – Marcus Dimanche (Mauritius), Menzi Ndwandwe (South Africa), Fransisco Sacalumbo (Angola)
1 – Pedro Alves (Angola), Tseliso Botswana (Lesotho), Achmat Ceres (South Africa), Edward Chilufya (Zambia), Nelson da Luz (Angola), Patson Daka (Zambia), Nilton Ernesto (Mozambique), Alex Ferre (Mauritius), Hassan Hassan (Sudan), Said Hicham (Comoros Islands), Bruno Langa (Mozambique), Ali Matse (Swaziland), Sibongakonke Mbatha (South Africa), Wisemen Meyiwa (South Africa), Bhekani Mthembu (Swaziland), Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (South Africa), Moses Nyondo (Zambia), Fashion Sakala (Zambia), Chrispen Sakulanda (Zambia), Itumeleng Shopane (South Africa), Bukhosi Sibanda (Zimbabwe), Sifundo Sibiya (South Africa), Luther Singh (South Africa), Felix Vladimiro (Angola), Habib Youssouf (Comoros Islands).