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Success for SA youth teams a positive sign for SA football

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South Africa came back from the shock of conceding an early goal to claim victory over Zambia and top the pool with seven points

Thabo Senong during the SAB League Skills Camp on 12 February 2018 at HPC. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Recent results from the South Africa Under-20 and Under-17 football teams has provided real hope that our country’s football has been on a steady upward curve of late.

The Under-20s beat Malawi away recently, while the Amajimbos are through to the semi-finals of the Cosafa Under-17 Championships in Mauritius.

On his return from Malawi, South Africa Under-20 coach Thabo Senong (pictured) said creating scoring chances was the key to the side’s 2-0 win over Malawi in Lilongwe over the weekend.

With the win, South Africa secured qualification for the 2019 Africa Under-20 Afcon in Niger from February 24 to March 12 where the top four national teams to represent Africa in the 2019 Fifa Under-20 World Cup tournament will be decided.

Meanwhile, the South African Under-17 Men’s team (Amajimbos), together with Namibia, have sealed their places in the semi-finals of the 2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championships in Mauritius.

Amajimbos stunned defending champions Zambia with a 2-1 win on Tuesday to advance as Group B winners and at the same time send the Young Chipolopolo home after the first round.

South Africa came back from the shock of conceding an early goal to claim victory over Zambia and top the pool with seven points.

Vincent Kalinda had Zambia in the lead, but just minutes later Thando Buthelezi equalised for Molefi Ntseki’s charges, with his second goal of the campaign.

Zambia had to push for the win to overhaul the Amajimbos at the top of the table but were caught 10 minutes from time when Boitumelo Radiopane found a winner for the two-time champions.

South Africa will now await the best runner-up in the semi-finals.

Namibia topped Group A with a 2-0 victory over Botswana thanks to goals from Prins Tjiueza and Gonzales Tsuseb, while in Group A Mauritius kept their knockout hopes alive with a thumping 6-1 victory over fellow islanders Seychelles, despite going behind in the game.