By Sedara Philip
…Faces Nigeria on Saturday at 2000 hours for a decider.
The Amajimbos of South Africa on Wednesday night beat their COSAFA rivals, Chipolopolo of Zambia 3-2 in Group B to put Golden Eaglets of Nigeria in a tight corner for the Quarterfinal ticket. COSAFA is for Eastern and South Africa regional outfit like WAFU is to West Africa.
Star boy Mkhawana heightened the hopes of South Africa with his brace, (two goals in a match) which he scored in the 12th minute through a Renecke assist and slammed the second into the net 31st minute.
Zambia striker, Mwanga who plays like Daniel Amokachi the Bull, not easily brought down, also slapped his own version of a brace on South Africa scored in the 45th minute with his ace partner, Zimba and three minutes later scored the second goal with Zimba to have 2-2 on the score board.
A Nigerian, F. Dokunmu combining with Manyama scored the winner for South Africa to give the Amajimbos the confidence to slug it out with the Golden Eaglets for a Quarterfinal ticket. The Nigerians fell 0-1 to Morocco earlier in the afternoon.
Zambia and South Africa had met 5 times in the U17 AFCON and Zambia won thrice. South Africa won 2-1 on 24th July 2018; Zambia won 1-0 on26th November 2020; 29th November was settled via penalties as South Africa won 4-1 after 1-1 at Full time; on 7th December 2022 South Africa lost at home 0-1 to Zambia and on 11th December 2022Zambia won 1-0 in Lusaka.
South Africa that lost 0-2 to Morocco is 3rd on the table though having 3 points with Nigeria but has scored 3 goals and conceded 4. Nigeria is second with their lone goal victory over Zambia scoring a goal and conceding one which was the 0-1 loss to Morocco while Zambia is 4th with no point.
On Saturday, Nigeria will test strength against South Africa while Zambia will face Morocco both matches will be played simultaneously at 2000 hours.
Only one match will be played at 1700 hours tomorrow Thursday in group C between Cameroon and Mali as South Sudan who were scheduled to meet Burkina Faso were disqualified at the last moment.
On Friday at 2000 hours, Somalia will meet Senegal and at the same time, Congo will tackle hosts Algeria in the last Group A matches.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.