Defending champions Zambia took a giant step towards the semifinals of the COSAFA Qualifiers for TOTAL U-20 AFCON, Mauritania 2021 when they defeated Comoros 2-0 in their Group B clash in Nelson Mandela Bay on Monday.
There was also a victory for Namibia over Malawi to keep their semifinal hopes alive ahead of the final round of matches in the pool that will be played on Wednesday.
Zambia head the pool with six points and having not conceded a goal yet, while Namibia and Malawi are on three points each. Comoros are out having lost both their opening games.
The Young Chipolopolo were in complete control of their fixture as they scored early on through John Chishimba when he netted with a fine strike inside three minutes.
Zambia added a second just before halftime when Derrick Bulaya had an easy tap-in from an assist by Prince Mumba, who was named Man of the Match.
Comoros had a chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty, but Zambia goalkeeper Patrick Chooma saved Fahad Yacine’s effort midway through the second half.
Namibia edged Malawi in the second match of the day despite going a goal behind.
Lanjesi Nkhoma shrugged off a number of challenges before firing low to put Malawi ahead, but their joy was short-lived as Namibia equalised four minutes later.
Juninho Jantze provided a controlled volley at the back post to level the scores, before Giovani Kaninab grabbed the winner just before halftime.
Only the top team in each pool as well as best-placed runner-up advance to the semifinals, while the two finalists at this year’s competition will win a place at the 2021 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations.
In order to make the best runner-up place calculation fair, the results against the bottom teams in Groups A and B will be discarded.
Both Groups A and C will be decided on Tuesday when the final matches are played.
The Group C action is up first at 12h20 where a point for Eswatini in their clash against Botswana will ensure they finish top of the pool. But a win for the Young Zebras will see all three teams on three points and the pool decided by goal-difference.
Mozambique need to avoid defeat to hosts South Africa (15h30) to finish top in Group A, but a win for the latter would see them go top and leave the Young Mambas sweating on a best runner-up place.
At the same time Zimbabwe take on Lesotho, will both teams essentially out of the competition as even a win for Zimbabwe would leave them with only a single point in the runner-up calculation.
The same would go for Lesotho with results against the bottom team discarded.
Comoros 0 Zambia 2 (John Chishimba 3′, Bulaya 45′)
Namibia 2 (Jantze 14′, Kaninab 45′) Malawi 1 (Nkhoma 10′)
3.30pm (1.30pm GMT) – South Africa vs Mozambique
3.30pm (1.30pm GMT) – Zimbabwe vs Lesotho
12.30pm (10h30 GMT) – Eswatini vs Botswana