The Mozambique Under-20 national football team, also known as the Mambinhas, will tackle Amajita (South Africa U20) on Tuesday afternoon in the last match of group A of the Cosafa U20 Championship in Port Elizabeth.
It will certainly be a difficult match for the Mambinhas. They need to avoid defeat against hosts South Africa this afternoon (15:30) to finish top in Group A and qualify for the semi-finals but a win for the latter would see them go top and leave the Young Mambas sweating on a best runner-up place.
Only the top team in each pool as well as the best-placed runner-up advance to the semi-finals, while the two finalists at this year’s competition will win a place at the 2021 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Leading group A with six points, the result of two victories, in the first two rounds, against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, the Mambinhas face the hosts, eager to ensure qualification at all costs, since they are in the second position, with four points, after the draw against Zimbabwe, and 7-0 win over Lesotho.
A draw is enough for Mozambique to reach the semi-finals, and even more, in the first place, relegating the South Africans to try to be the best runners-up of the three groups, to guarantee the passage.
But in the worst case and considering the strength of Amajita in the event of defeat, the Mambinhas need to ensure that the numbers are not more than two goals difference, since the goal difference can be decisive in the selection of the second-best.
At the moment, the Mambinhas have a positive difference of three goals, since they haven’t conceded yet and scored one against Lesotho and two versus Zimbabwe.
But coach Dário Monteiro knows that he can count on a very motivated team, not only for the results achieved but also for the possibility of reaching the final of the regional tournament and guaranteeing a place in the Afcon, which will take place next year.
The semi-final matches will take place on Friday, with the final scheduled for Sunday.
RELATED STORY: Mozambique edge past Zimbabwe
By FARPost Reporter