The Young Warriors fell at the final hurdle as they lost 4-3 on penalties to South Africa’s Amajita in the Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships played in Zambia on Thursday.
The match ended 1-1 in normal time after Young Warriors drew first blood in the second half of a frenetic match. The goal was scored by Delic Murimba in the 65th minute. The Amajita, however, equalised through Lyle Foster in the 85th minute.
Warriors coach Bekithembe Ndlovu was pleased by his charges’ efforts despite the loss. He said
I think coming to us to Zimbabwe, we played very well. We competed very well. I can say well done to my boys for reaching the final and being beaten by South Africa, the champions last year, the champions again this year on penalties. I think it was a very good effort from my boys.
Tough luck to my boys, but I think we achieved because what we wanted was to do better than last time. Last time we went out in the group stages, now we have been beaten by South Africa in the finals, I think it’s a big achievement from my boys.
South Africa is not an easy team to play against, they are good. I think coming into this final, they were having three clean sheets, we were the first team to score against them, which shows also that we are a good team.
South Africa’s coach Thabo Senong was naturally elated. He said
Obviously (I am) very happy, well done to our boys. It’s an incredible victory because we were playing against a very tough side.
We were tested physically, tactically and you can see that the Zimbabwe boys are well-drilled tactically, they were very competitive.
You can see it’s a generational thing, this time they came with a very good team and obviously we gave away a goal, we made a mistake and time was against us and we needed to work harder, make tactical switches, try to be direct so that we can try to get an equaliser.