Zim U-20 lose on penalties

South Africa...(0) 1
Zimbabwe...(0) 1

(SA won 4-3 after penalties)

HARARE - The Young Warriors’ quest to end their Cosafa Under-20 Championship drought ended in tears when they lost to South Africa on penalties in the final at the Nkana Stadium in Kitwe, Zambia yesterday.

The match had ended 1-all in regulation time after Delic Murimba had given the Warriors the lead in the 65th minute with a nice lob over Amajita goalkeeper Khulekani Kubheka after a mistake by Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.

This was Murimba’s fifth goal of the tournament which saw him share the Golden Boot with South Africa’s Lyle Forster.

The Monaco-bound striker equalised for Amajita in the 85th minute after Zimbabwe could not hold on to their lead.

In the penalty shootout, Zimbabwe scored their spot kicks through captain Andrew Mbeba, Tatenda Tumba and Emmanuel Jalai.

FC Platinum defender Leonard Jani and Chapungu’s Clive Rupiya all had their spot kicks saved by Kubheka.

Givemore Khupe, Promise Mkhuma, Thabiso Monyane and Keenan Abrahams all scored for Amajita while Forster blazed his spot kick over the bar.

Young Warriors coach Bhekithemba Ndlovu said: “I think it was a very good game; a tough game. We scored first and the boys put up a good showing.

“Maybe when we scored we started to sit a bit deep and that allowed South Africa to get the equaliser.

“Before we got here, our target was to do better than what we did last year when we failed to get out of the group stages.

“This time around we have reached the final and only to lose on penalties; I’m very proud of my boys.”     

An emotional Amajita coach Thabo Senong said: “Obviously very excited and emotional at the same time. It was not easy and the boys worked very hard.

“We conceded because we made a mistake; they didn’t work for their goal. We wanted to finish off the match in regulation time but we came good in the penalty shootout.”

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