Zambia punish Amajita in Cosafa final

SA National Teams

South Africa failed to a third straight COSAFA U20 Championship title following a 3-0 defeat to hosts Zambia in the final on Saturday afternoon.

Amajita, who needed a penalty shoot-out against Madagascar to progress to the final, came with a strong eleven that excluded the injured Selaelo Rasebotja.

Neither nation encountered defeat leading up to the final, with the Zambians first on the attack through a header following the opening exchanges.

Bontle Molefe made a big one-handed stop from a powerful header by Patrick Gondwe following the 25th minute, as Amajita appeared on the ropes.

Molefe worked overtime, pulling off a triple save from consecutive attempts before he was finally beaten as Jonathan Munalula broke the deadlock with an overhead kick on 38 minutes.

Counterpressing from the Zambians in the final minute of the half caught the South Africans off guard and Francisco Mwepu needed no second invitation to capitalise and double their lead.

Amajita started the second half with a substitution in Rahim Milazi, who entered for Vusumuzi Plamana as Helman Mkhalele’s side launched a comeback approach.

Within minutes from coming on, Milazi fired against the upright following a close-range strike with Prince Bwalya well beaten.

The defending champions bravely pushed for a comeback, however Munalula made the victory safe with his second of the day after 84 minutes to hand Zambia the title.