Day 5 of the TotalEnergies U20 AFCON Egypt 2023 COSAFA Qualifiers produced yet another dose of exciting football action at the Somhlolo and Mavuso Stadium.
Zambia edged Botswana 1-0 at the Mavuso Stadium, while hosts, Eswatini thrashed Mauritius 7-0 at Somhlolo Stadium in a highly entertaining clash.
Two quick goals by Mukelo Ngobese in the 3rd and 5th minute ensured Eswatini get the lead they desperately needed to build momentum with the home crowd rallying them behind. The target man could have found his hattrick in the 12th minute after Sinenkosi Dlamini did well to find the unmarked striker who saw his shot go agonisingly wide off target.
The lead was extended to 3-0 in the 14th minute when a well weighted corner found its way into the box for Siphephelo Philiso to find his first of the tournament with a well taken header.
Ngobese was back on the scoresheet again in the 40th minute after a good interchange of passes concluded with the target man beating Jininio Darbon on his near post.
The hosts continued pushing numbers forward and Ngobese continued in his fine form in the second half with a brilliant strike from inside the box in the 55th minute to register his fourth goal of the tournament.
With the game completely beyond reach for Mauritius, coach Twaleb Fatemamode introduced more substitutions to afford his squad some game time as the hosts continued surging forward in search of more goals.
Sizwe Khumalo also registered his first of the tournament towards the closing stages before Philiso’s brace in the 90th minute concluded the high scoring match at 7-0 to Eswatini.
Meanwhile at the Mavuso Stadium, Zambia held a heart-warming tribute to Chipolopolo captain Enock ‘Computer’ Mwepu at the TotalEnergies U20 AFCON Egypt 2023 COSAFA Qualifier Group A clash against Botswana at Mavuso stadium in Manzini.
The whole of the U20 technical bench stopped and clapped after 11-minutes on the clock in honour of Chipolopolo captain who dons jersey number 11, but was forced into football retirement because of a hereditary heart condition.
Prior to the kick-off of their final group A match, the young Chipolopolo players lined up inside their centre circle and clapped as a mark of solidarity to Mwepu affectionately known as computer due to his ball dazzling skills that opponents find difficult to deal with.
The gesture was also complemented by a positive result that saw Zambia finishing top of group A after edging Botswana 1 – 0 thanks to a solitary goal by Kingston Mutandwa in the 3rd minute which was enough to seal the victory for Zambia.
The result made it three wins out of three for Young Chipolopolo who will now prepare for the semi-finals.
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