Defending champions Zambia laid down a big marker of intent as they opened their 2016 COSAFA Under-17 Championships Group B campaign with a 4-0 victory over Kenya in Port Louis, Mauritius on Friday.
Zambia were completely dominant in the game and could have had more goals had they not been so wayward in front of goal.
It was a harsh lesson for East African guest nation Kenya as they battled with the pace of the Young Chipolopolo, who have lived up to their billing as being among the pre-tournament favourites.
Zambia got a fast start when forward Nicholas Mulilo had them ahead inside four minutes, before he added a second nine minutes later with another composed finish.
Zambia were rampant by this stage and it was something of a surprise that it took them close to halftime before they scored again.
Damiano Kola got that goal and they were net again before the break as Kunda Nkandu compounded the misery for Kenya.
That was the way it stayed to halftime and remarkably there were no goals after the break despite Kenya creating some promising moments themselves.
A late goal from Franck Chizuze saw Malawi defeat Madagascar 2-1, despite being reduced to 10 men during the second half.
Malawi probably shaved the play but fell behind when Madagascar star Fabrizio Mosa put his side in front just past the half-hour mark.
Substitute Raphael Banda equalised for Malawi five minutes after halftime, but the Young Flames had to finish the game with 10 men when Henri Chiwaya got his second yellow card.
They continued to have the better opportunities though and stole the points a minute from time as Chizuze took his chance well.
Group A gets under way on Saturday as hosts Mauritius take on Namibia in the first match at 14h00 local time (10h00 GMT) at the Stade Georges V in Curepipe.
The home nation will be looking for a good start and a big local support as they take on a tough opponent.
South Africa enter the fray afterwards with a meeting against Seychelles at the same venue at 17h00 local time (13h00 GMT).
They will be among the pre-tournament favourites, will be wary of the tricky islanders who will be a closed book to Molefi Ntseki’s side.
FRIDAY’S GROUP B RESULTS
Zambia 4 (Mulilo 4’, 13’, Kola 37’, Nkandu 43’) Kenya 0
Malawi 2 (R.Banda 50’, Chizuze 89’) Madagascar 1 (Mosa 32’)
SATURDAY’S GROUP A FIXTURES
Mauritius vs Namibia (KO 14h00 local, 10h00 GMT) – Stade Georges V
Seychelles vs South Africa (KO 17h00 local, 13h00 GMT) – Stade Georges V
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
Mauritius 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seychelles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Zambia 1 1 0 0 4 0 3
Malawi 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
Mauritius 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
Kenya 1 0 0 1 0 4 0
Matches Played: 2
Goals scored: 7
Biggest victory: Zambia 4 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 22)
Most goals in a game: 4 – Zambia 4 Kenya 0 (Group B, July 22)
2 goals – Nicholas Mulilo (Zambia)
1 – Raphael Banda (Malawi), Franck Chizuze (Malawi), Damiano Kola (Zambia), Fabrizio Mosa (Madagascar), Kunda Nkandu (Zambia)