17 December 2017 07:07
South Africa claimed their sixth regional title after a 2-1 victory over Lesotho in the final of the 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe, Zambia on Saturday.
Lyle Foster and Kamogelo Sambo bagged the goals for the South Africans, while Rethabile Mokokoane replied with an excellent long-range effort for Lesotho, who remain without a victory in the competition after three final defeats.
North African guest nation Egypt finished third when they beat fellow invitees Uganda 3-1 in the third-place play-off.
South Africa were head inside five minutes when Lyle Foster scored his third goal of the tournament with a neat finish into the bottom corner after Luvuyo Mkatshana had been tackled in the box. And Amajita made it 2-0 just before halftime when Kamogelo Sambo bundled the ball home after Keanu Cupido’s close-range effort had been blocked by substitute Lesotho goalkeeper Silase Kopano.
Lesotho almost found a way back into the game late in the first half when Bonang Mohapi’s free-kick struck a post and bounced away to safety. Lesotho pulled a goal back in fine fashion when Rethabile Mokokoane, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, shot from 40-yards, the ball nestling in the top corner as South Africa goalkeeper Sanele Tshabalala appeared to react late to the could not keep the ball out.
Lesotho might have equalized soon afterwards when Mokoteli Mohapi found himself with an empty net to aim at, but he side-footed his shot wide. Egypt collected the bronze medal with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Uganda in the earlier match.
The North Africans were ahead on 19 minutes as Roshdi Ashraf swept a hard and low shot past diving Uganda goalkeeper Eric Kibowa at the near post. But Uganda drew level as Muhammad Shaban headed home a minute before the break, his fourth of the competition and a goal they deserved for the pressure they had applied.
Ashraf netted his second when he reacted quickest to a shot that had rebounded off the post and buried the loose ball. Allan Okello had a superb chance to equalize again for the Ugandans, but he put his diving header wide of the goal.
The win was secured for Egypt though deep into injury-time when Abdelrahman Amr volleyed home a superb long-range effort for his third goal of the competition.
The Player of the Tournament award went to Mkatshana, while Shaban claimed the Golden Boot. Monaheng Ramalefane was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament prize, while Lesotho picked up the Fair Play Award.
Egypt 3 (Ashraf 19′, 59’, A. Amr 90’) Uganda 1 (Shaban 44’)
South Africa 2 (Foster 5’, Sambo 40’) Lesotho 1 (Mokokoane 59’)