Zambia were crowned winners of the 2019 COSAFA U17 Championship with a 2-0 victory over Mozambique in Sunday’s final at the Mpira Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi.
The Zambians had a 100 percent winning record in the tournament and also netted a healthy 21 goals in five games, conceding twice.
Joseph Banda and Rickson Ng’ambi goals in the second half were enough to see the high scoring team lifting the trophy in front of thousands of Malawians who came to witness the showdown.
In the opening minutes, it was Mozambique with the better part of the possession but the Mozambicans’ decision to use a lone striker in Simon Cipriano backfired as he was completely closed down by Miguel Chaiwa’s led defense.
The Mozambicans created their first chance inside the opening minutes but Cipriano tapped his effort over the cross bar in a one to one situation.
At the other end, the Junior Chipolopolo created their first goal scoring opportunity when Banda made his way into the box only to see his dead ball well cleared by Aylton Zerefos.
Adique Aide and Miguel Muchanga were a marvel to watch but they were left frustrated with Cipriano who could not overcome Zambia’s defense.
In the second half, the Junior Chipolopolo pressed harder in search for the goal and should have scored on the 48th minute but Moses Mulenga failed to connect home from a close range.
However, Zambia were 1-0 up in a brilliant fashion.
Mulenga combined well with Peter Chikola to cause commotion inside Mozambique’s defense, leaving the room for Banda to slot in the ball past Kimiss Zavala.
Just after taking a lead, the Junior Chipolopolo suffered a massive blow when Chikola was red carded for his second bookable offense.
However, this did not stop the Zambians from sealing off the victory when Ng’ambi scored his fifth goal of the tournament.
N’gambi, Cipriano and Angola’s Valdemiro Domingos won the golden boot while Mulenga won the player of the tournament award, with David Minganja being voted as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
e-Swatini won the fair play award.
In the third play playoff, Angola swept aside e-Swatini 5-0 to win the bronze medal.