Young Warriors in semis
ZIMBABWE became the first team to reach the MOPANI Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships semi-finals with a game to spare after their group C rivals Angola cancelled each other following a draw with Botswana at Nkana Stadium yesterday.
The six time champions took control of Group C on Wednesday when they thrashed Lesotho 4-0 in their second game of the tournament to take their tally to six points.
They had beaten Botswana 2-1 on Monday in their opening tie.
Angola were restricted to a 1-1 draw by Lesotho on Monday before settling for another share of the spoils.
It was the best possible start for Zimbabwe to their campaign taking into consideration that for the past two years they have had to watch the knockout stages from home after failing to go beyond the group stages.
Only the top teams from the three groups and best-placed runners-up advance to the semi-finals.
Zimbabwe will then take on Group A winner on Tuesday in the semi-final while Group B winner face the best-placed runner-up.
Group A consists of Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and DR Congo.
This comes as a relief for coach Bhekithemba Ndlovu who was in charge of the team last year when they had one of their worst campaigns in South Africa when they were eliminated at the first hurdle without even registering a win.
But this time around they have managed to pull through to the last four with a game to spare. Zimbabwe face Angola in a dead rubber on Sunday at Nkana Stadium to wrap up their group games.
Going into the knockout stages Zimbabwe will be seeking to maintain their fine form that has seen them scoring six goals in two matches and conceding just one goal.
Triangle’s Delic Murimba leads the charts with three goals.
He powered Zimbabwe to their first victory on Monday with a brace and on Wednesday he was on target again, weighing in with one of the four goals against Lesotho.
Blessing Nyamuzihwa also scored a brace in that encounter against Lesotho and Tatenda Tumba also had his name on the score sheet.
Lesotho clash with Botswana a dead rubber on Sunday.