SA teams on course for Gold in Zambia

Regional honours at stake for boy's Under-17 side and women’s Under-20 team

The South African sides taking part in the regional championships at the Zone VI Games in Zambia have fared well after the first weekend of action.

The South African men’s Under-17 and women’s Under-20 sides have been in action as they seek to win Gold and be crowned the top sides in Southern Africa.

South Africa also made a promising start as they beat Malawi 4-0 in their opening Group A clash on Friday. Coach Shakes Mahasba’s side led 2-0 at the break and were always in control of the game.

Bongani Khanyile gave them a seventh minute lead, before Nhlakanipho Ntuli added a second two minutes before the break. The points were made safe when Ayabulela Magqwaka added a third on 53 minutes, and Ntuli scored his second and South Africa’s fourth midway through the second period.

On Saturday, South Africa came back from 2-1 down at halftime to defeat Botswana 3-2 and maintain their 100 percent start to the competition in Group A.

Thatayaone Ramatlapeng scored twice in the first half to give Botswana the advantage, but a brace from Ntuli and a further goal from Fagrie Lakay gave South Africa the win.

They are level on six points with Zambia at the top of the pool, with those two sides meeting on Monday.

The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, to be played on December 14, with the third-place play-off scheduled for the following day. The winning semifinalists will meet in the decider on December 16 at Nkoloma Stadium.

The women’s Under-20 competition, South Africa beat hosts Zambia 1-0 on Friday, but were held to a 0-0 draw by Namibia on Sunday. They remain in second place in the pool, two points behind leaders Zimbabwe.

The semifinals in the women’s Under-20 competition feature the team that finishes first in the pool take on the bottom side, while second meets third.  The third-place play-off will be played on December 14, with the final scheduled for the Nkoloma Stadium on December 16.