South Africa will tackle Namibia in the final of the COSAFA Under-17 Championships on Sunday after both came through contrasting semifinal matches in Mauritius on Friday.
The South Africans thumped Kenya 4-0 in their Last 4 fixture, while Namibia needed a late equaliser to take their tie against Malawi to penalties, where they eventually won 6-5.
Kenya received a re-entry into the competition after Group B winners Zambia were disqualified having been found to have fielded two over-age players in the competition – Nicholas Mulilo and Benjamin Phiri.
It meant Malawi finished as the top team in the pool and Kenya in second, earning the latter a semifinal with South Africa. But the young South Africans roared into the final with a comprehensive victory as they overwhelmed their East African opponents.
They took the lead on 10 minutes when Mjabulise Mkhize picked his spot perfectly to fire home past the stranded Kenyan goalkeeper George Ouma.
Thabiso Monyane thought he had doubled the advantage but his effort was ruled out for offside, though South Africa did not have to wait long for their second goal.
Midfielder Luke le Roux scored from a superb free-kick just before the half-hour mark. And it was 3-0 seven minutes later when Lina Mchilizeli profited from a mistake by Ouma as a goal-kick found its way into his path and he coolly curled the ball into the back of the net.
There was only one goal in the second period as South Africa completed their rout through Bonga Dladla, who also scored directly from a free-kick.
Malawi were on top for most of their semifinal and after missing a number of opportunities, took the lead after a fine goal from outside the box by Peter Banda.
It looked as though they would hold on for the win as well until Namibia’s Eldery Morgan popped up with an equaliser two minutes from time.
That took the game to a penalty shoot-out and when Innocent Shema missed his spot-kick, the Namibians triumphed 6-5.
FRIDAY’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS
South Africa 4 (Mkhize 10’, Le Roux 29’, Mchilizeli 36’, Dladla 73’) Kenya 0
Malawi 1 (P.Banda 51’) Namibia 1 (Morgan 88’) – Namibia won 6-5 on pens
SUNDAY’S THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF FIXTURE
Kenya vs Malawi (KO 13h00 local; 09h00 GMT)
SUNDAY’S FINAL FIXTURE
South Africa vs Namibia (KO 16h30 local; 12h30 GMT)
Matches Played: 14
Goals scored: 44
Biggest victory: Malawi 5 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 26)
Most goals in a game: 5 – Malawi 5 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 26); Seychelles 1 Namibia 4 (Group A, July 27)
4 goals – Peter Banda (Malawi), Abram Tjahikika (Namibia)
3 – Eldery Morgan (Namibia), Nicholas Mulilo (Zambia)
2 – Franck Chizuze (Malawi), Damiano Kola (Zambia), Luke le Roux (South Africa), Linamandla Mchilizeli (South Africa), Fabrizio Mosa (Madagascar), Kenneth Mukuria (Kenya), Siphamandla Ntuli (South Africa), George Nyimbili (Zambia)
1 – Raphael Banda (Malawi), Bonga Dladla (South Africa), Neehal Hurdoyal (Mauritius), Mathiot Juninho (Seychelles), Rivaldo Laksman (Namibia), Francisco Madinga (Malawi), Mswati Mavuso (South Africa), Mjabulise Mkhize (South Africa), Matteo Monple (Mauritius), James Monyane (South Africa), Kunda Nkandu (Zambia), Benjamin Phiri (Zambia), Tyreese Pillay (South Africa), Mwiza Siwale (Zambia)