Zambia’s Young Chipolopolo yesterday turned on a vintage performance to win the Cosafa Under-17 Youth Championship with a 2-0 victory over Mozambique in the final at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre.Despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half, the Zambians upped their game to get their second goal and seal a comfortable win. After a goalless first-half, Joseph Sabobo Banda, who was named man-of-the match,
found the back of the net for Zambia in the 52nd minute when he stabbed home Julius Kumwenda’s pass on the edgeof the box.
The going appeared tough for Zambia when Peter Chikola was sent off for an early shower in the 58th minute after getting a second yellow card for a foul. But despite the numerical disadvantage, Zambia dictated the affairs until the final whistle.
The Zambians got their second goal in the 74th minute through Rickson Ng’ambi who slotted in a Moses Mulenga pass. Mulenga, who finished as Player of the Tournament, rounded off a forest of defenders before laying the ball into the path of Ng’ambi for a simple finish. Zambia’s coach Oswald Mutapa felt like flying after the
final whistle. “It has been an exciting tournament right from the go. I think we deserved to win because my boys were impressive throughout. But it wasn’t easy,” he said. Playing earlier on, Angola finished third after clobbering e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland) 5-0 to clinch bronze. Malawi failed to make it past the group stages after finishing third in Group A behind Zambia and e-Swatini.