U-20 storm COSAFA semis
Published On December 8, 2014 » 2430 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Football, Sports
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By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA at Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo –
Namibia 0 Zambia 2
MIDFIELDER Kasashi Lupiya scored a first half brace to send the Zambia Under-20 soccer team into the semi finals of the COSAFA Youth Championships being played under the Africa Union Sports (AUSC) Region-Five Games.
Going into this game as favourites, the Mangani Banda captained side put up another exhilarating show and blew away the Namibians to remain on course to win gold after picking six points from two opening games.
Just as they started against South Africa, Zambia raced into a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes before they took the foot off the gas in this game whose second half was played under rainy and windy conditions.
Only this time it was not Patson Daka who inflicted the early damage but the exciting Lupiya who netted both goals with the first coming off Zambia’s first assault at the Namibia goal in the third minute.
Lupiya’s first goal was team work and when he got a cutback from Kingsley Mukuka, he gracefully received it with both hands and slotted home from close range.
But the goal which came in the 14th minute was of real quality as he glided off two defenders on the edge of the box before bending one into the net to double Zambia’s advantage.
Knowing there were still many games to be played, the rest of the first half was played in pedestrian mode with Zambia enjoying passing football.
The start of the second-half was greeted by a strong wind before the rains took the energy off the game but that did not stop Zambia from creating chances, two of which were gilt-edge but wasted.
It was Patrick Ngoma who wasted both one-on-one chances, the first coming in the 55th minute when he was put through by Daka but, in trying to clip over the Namibia goalie Donavan Gainub, flicked the ball horribly wide.
Ngoma was again put through by Charles Yande but slammed his attempt into the legs of an advancing Gainub before he was rested five minutes from time for Moses Phiri.
This wins means Zambia maintain top spot with Namibia lagging three points behind while South Africa were set to play Lesotho in a match both teams were eyeing their first points.
It was a performance that left coach Hector Chilombo happy that saw his charges maintain a 100 percent record at the tournament.
“I am happy with the result and the fact that we managed to qualify with a game to spare makes me so proud. This will see us play our last game without any pressure and I can select other players to feature in the competition and rest some for the semi finals,” Chilombo said.
Namibia coach, Turipamue Upi said he was happy that his lads managed to keep the score low against a technically and tactically Zambian team that thrashed South Africa 6-1.
Zambia wraps Group B campaign tomorrow with a formality match against Lesotho just to confirm them as group winners.

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