DR Congo booked their spot in the semifinals of the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships with a 1-0 victory over Malawi in their crossover fixture at the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday.
The Congolese have set up a semi-final on Wednesday with Zambia, who were 2-0 victors over Mozambique at the Mogwase Stadium.
Nathan Lusuki grabbed his second goal of the tournament midway through the first half to seal the win for the Central African guest nation.
The Congolese were on the front foot from the off, with Chadrack Lukombe twisting and turning in the box before firing wide.
Rosy Kinkela also missed a fine opportunity to score, before the side finally did get their noses in front as Lusuki rose highest in the box to glance his header into the goal.
It then became the ‘Christopher Mikuwa’ show as the Malawi keeper made a string of fine saves, first from Rachidi Kuamanbu and Lukombe, who he foiled twice in just a few seconds.
Lusuki later had an effort ruled out for offside, before Mikuwa again denied the Congolese, saving again from Kuamanbu.
Zambia made a raft of changes but kept up their 100 percent record against Mozambique.
Young Chipolopolo scored their goals through Joseph Phiri and substitute Fashion Sakala, who moved joint top of the goal scorers charts in the competition with his third of the tournament, drawing level with Walaa Mohamed of Sudan.
Zambia broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Phiri pounced to score. He might have had a second shortly before halftime, but first missed a simple chance as he put the ball wide, and then headed off-target.
Sakala made the points safe with 10 minutes to go when he continued his outstanding tournament which sees him level with Walaa Mohamed from Sudan at the top of the scorers list.
Wednesday’s semifinals see South Africa take on Angola at 17h00 (15h00 GMT), while Zambia play DR Congo at 19h30 (17h30 GMT). Both games will be at the Moruleng Stadium
Cross-over matches from Groups B & D
Zambia 2 (Joseph Phiri 22’, Fashion Sakala 80’) Mozambique 0
Malawi 0 DR Congo 1 (Nathan Lusuki 25’)
Semifinals (Moruleng Stadium)
17h00 (15h00 GMT): South Africa vs Angola
19h30 (17h30 GMT): Zambia vs DR Congo
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
South Africa 3 3 0 0 10 0 9
Lesotho 3 2 0 1 3 9 6
Swaziland 3 1 0 2 3 3 3
Botswana 3 0 0 3 0 4 0
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Zambia 3 3 0 0 10 1 9
Malawi 3 0 1 2 0 4 1
Zimbabwe 2 0 1 1 1 5 1
Group C P W D L GF GA Pts
Angola 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
Mauritius 3 1 2 0 4 2 5
Sudan 3 1 1 1 6 2 4
Seychelles 3 0 0 3 0 11 0
Group D P W D L GF GA Pts
DR Congo 3 2 1 0 3 0 7
Mozambique 3 0 2 1 2 4 2
Comoros 2 0 1 1 2 4 1
Matches Played: 20
Goals scored: 50
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)
3 goals – Walaa Mohamed (Sudan), Fashion Sakala (Zambia)
2 – Patson Daka (Zambia), Marcus Dimanche (Mauritius), Nathan Lusuki (DR Congo), Sibongakonke Mbatha (South Africa), Menzi Ndwandwe (South Africa), Fransisco Sacalumbo (Angola), Chrispen Sakulanda (Zambia), Felix Vladimiro (Angola)
1 – Pedro Alves (Angola), Tseliso Bostwana (Lesotho), Achmat Ceres (South Africa), Edward Chilufya (Zambia), Nelson da Luz (Angola), Nilton Ernesto (Mozambique), Alex Ferre (Mauritius), Saviola Gamedze (Swaziland), Hassan Hassan (Sudan), Said Hicham (Comoros Islands), Khubetsoana Kamela (Lesotho), Bruno Langa (Mozambique), Thabang Malane (Lesotho), Ali Matse (Swaziland), Wisemen Meyiwa (South Africa), Bhekani Mthembu (Swaziland), Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (South Africa), Moses Nyondo (Zambia), Khaled Osman (Sudan), Joseph Phiri (Zambia), Itumeleng Shopane (South Africa), Bukhosi Sibanda (Zimbabwe), Sifundo Sibiya (South Africa), Luther Singh (South Africa), Ernest Sita (DR Congo), Ammar Taifour (Sudan), Rudy Vincent (Mauritius), Habib Youssouf (Comoros Islands)