South Africa took a big step towards the semifinals of the COSAFA Under-17 Championship with a 4-0 victory over Namibia in their Group A clash in Port Louis on Monday.
The South Africans have now made it two wins from two in their pool and need just a point against hosts Mauritius on Wednesday to seal their spot in the knockout stages.
Mauritius kept their hopes alive with a narrow 1-0 victory against Seychelles, who have now been dumped out of the competition.
Seychelles can still have a major say in the semifinal qualifiers though as they face Namibia in their final Group A game.
South Africa were dominant against the Namibians and had the lead inside 10 minutes when Luke le Roux converted a penalty.
They doubled that advantage on 28 minutes through Man of the Match James Monyane, and further extended the lead just after halftime as Siphamandla Ntuli scored his second of the tournament.
South Africa added a fourth goal in injury-time when Lani Mchilizeli’s cross floated into the Namibian net.
Mauritius edged fellow islanders Seychelles with a narrow but deserved 1-0 victory.
The only goal of the game was scored on 77 minutes through Matteo Monple as his long-range strike was a worthy winner.
Seychelles finished the game with 10 men Brandon Molle received a straight red card five minutes later.
Tuesday’s final Group B games will decide which teams joins Zambia in the semifinals from that pool.
The Zambians have already assured themselves of a semifinal spot and take on Madagascar, who have already been ousted from the competition.
It is therefore a straight shoot-out between Malawi and East African guest nation Kenya.
A draw will be enough for the Malawians to advance on goal-difference, meaning it is all or nothing for the Kenyans.
Both matches kick-off at 15h00 local time, 11h00 GMT.
MONDAY’S GROUP A RESULTS
Namibia 0 South Africa 4 (Le Roux 9’pen, Monyane 28’, Ntuli 52’, Mchilizeli 90’)
Mauritius 1 (Monple 77’) Seychelles 0
TUESDAY’S GROUP B FIXTURES
Madagascar vs Zambia (KO 15h00 local, 11h00 GMT) – Stade Georges V, Curepipe
Malawi vs Kenya (KO 15h00 local, 11h00 GMT) – Stade St Francois Xavier, Port Louis
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
South Africa 2 2 0 0 5 0 6
Mauritius 2 1 0 1 2 3 3
Namibia 2 1 0 1 3 5 3
Seychelles 2 0 0 2 0 2 0
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Zambia 2 2 0 0 7 0 6
Malawi 2 1 0 1 2 4 3
Kenya 2 1 0 1 2 5 3
Madagascar 2 0 0 2 2 4 0
Matches Played: 8
Goals scored: 23
Biggest victory: Zambia 4 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 22); Namibia 0 South Africa 4 (Group A, July 25)
Most goals in a game: 4 – Zambia 4 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 22); Mauritius 1 Namibia 3 (Group A, July 23); Namibia 0 South Africa 4 (Group A, July 25)
3 goals – Nicholas Mulilo (Zambia)
2 – Damiano Kola (Zambia), Fabrizio Mosa (Madagascar), Kenneth Mukuria (Kenya), Siphamandla Ntuli (South Africa),
1 – Raphael Banda (Malawi), Franck Chizuze (Malawi), Neehal Hurdoyal (Mauritius), Rivaldo Laksman (Namibia), Luke le Roux (South Africa), Linamandla Mchilizeli (South Africa), Matteo Monple (Mauritius), James Monyane (South Africa), Eldery Morgan (Namibia), Kunda Nkandu (Zambia), Benjamin Phiri (Zambia), Abram Tjahikika (Namibia)