Zambia youngsters hold SA
The junior chipolopolo remained undefeated and are yet to concede a goal after they were held to a goalless draw by South Africa at Nkoloma Stadium in the men's Under 17 football competition at the Zone Six games on Monday.
South Africa started the match stronger as they pressed the hosts in their own half and goalkeeper Mangani Banda was the busiest man on the field.
Nhlakanipho Ntuli orchestrated most of South Africa's moves for striker Siyanda Ngcobo whose efforts were equalled by Mangani.
On the half hour mark, a wrong footed Paul Phiri was forced to bring down Siyanda Ngcobo who was through on goal and the referee Tirero Motsitswane pointed to the spot immediately.
Top scorer with four goals at the tournament Nhlakanipho Ntuli stepped up but he sent his
shot wide of the left upright after goalkeeper Mangani Banda went in the wrong direction.
The junior chipolopolo had their own chances as they forced the first corner of the match in the second minute. With the pressure from South Africa unrelenting, the Zambians got more organised and took control of the proceedings in the last ten minutes of the first half.
George Mandu forced a good save out of Jody February who parried the ball behind for a corner in the 45th minute corner and Paul Phiri could have scored from the resulting corner but with his back to goal his shot on the turn went wide of the left upright.
Zambia started the second half the way they ended the first with Chibuye Mulilo's speculative shot outside the box in the 53rd minute missing the crossbar by inches.
However, two minutes later Sabelo Malunga could have opened the scoresheet but his header from the heart of the area went wide. It was a balanced affair with no goal mouth action thereafter until George Mandu's speculative shot in the 87th minute which was saved by Jody February.
The result means South Africa still lead Group A on goal difference from Zambia with seven points from three matches.
Malawi moved to six points and third in Group A after the came from behind to defeat Botswana 4-3 in an entertaining fixture at Sunset Stadium. Botswana took the lead against the run of play through Thatayaone Ramatlapeng in the 25th minute and looked assured of victory as they took a 1-0 lead to the break.
However, 5 minutes after the restart, Abraham Kamwendo was not to be denied as he restored parity for the Malawians with a brilliantly taken penalty kick. Kabelano Mooketsane restored Botswana's lead in the 70th minute but it was short lived as Brian Phiri equalised a minute later.
Thatayaone Ramatlapeng completed his second brace of the competition in the 84th minute to cancel out Malawi's goal scored by Wongani Kuchisaya in the 76th minute. However, the best goal of the match was scored by Lessman Singini who broke the Batswana hearts with a long range low shot from the left wing which left the goalkeeper rooted to the ground.
In Group B, Namibia and Mauritius played to a 2-2 draw with Mauritius while Angola recovered from their opening match defeat to Lesotho by thrashing Swaziland 3-0 at Sunset Stadium.
FULL TIME RESULTS
Botswana 3 - 4 Malawi
Namibia 2 - 2 Mauritius
Zambia 0 - 0 South Africa
Angola 3 - 0 Swaziland