The 2020 COSAFA U17 Tournament will reach its climax today, when the defending champions Zambia U17 square up against South Africa U17.
This finely balanced encounter will be decided at 15:30 at the Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Many football pundits have already predicted a Zambian victory given their overall dominance in the group matches. Young Chipolopolo collected all points at stake, including a final match win (1-0) against Amajimbos.
But by halftime, with Angola leading Malawi 3-0, news had been circulated to both camps (SA and Zambia) that they had qualified for Morocco CAF U17 showpiece. So, FARPost will look at how these old adversaries shape up for this clash of the tournament.
1.1 Summary of the Young Chipolopolo
The Young Chipolopolo have swept all before them with great ease. Built on a solid tactical structure and resonating technical prowess, this team is a marvel to watch.
In defence, captain marvelous Miguel Chaiwa has been colossal in leading his troops with distinction. Not only are they defensively well marshalled, but they are also impeccable in the build-up phase and distributing the ball in the right places.
The Zambians have been intelligent to employ a tactical midfield screen of Dominic Kanda and Julius Kumwenda. The pair has provided the perfect tactical compactness in the central area and accentuated a fertile platform for the team to attack.
The front four of Charles Mumba, Joseph Sabobo Banda, Rickson Ng’ambi and Richard Ngoma, have been deadly in attack. As observed through the group stage, Mumba is cunning and deceptive in the spaces between the lines, Banda is speedy and tricky in 1v1 attack and Ng’ambi provides the tactical outlet to manifest the team overall attacking intentions.
1.2 Players to watch
• Rickson Ng’ambi
• Charles Mumba
• Joseph Banda
2. South Africa
2.1 Summary of Amajimbos
South Africa U17 team are a very resilient and highly talented bunch of fighters. Few will have given them a glimmer of hope after their disastrous campaign in Malawi last year where they performed below par. But Coach Vela Khumalo and his entire technical team, have done well to prepare this side adequately and to eventually punch above expectations.
In the defensive department, one player has stood out, Siya Gumede. The School of Excellence centre-back has been pivotal in shaping the team’s defensive blueprint and supporting the defensive work of his entire back four.
In the central midfield, one player from the midfield central pack has been awesome. Lindokuhle Nkosi has been outstanding in initiating the midfield attacks and shutting down the midfield strata when required to do so. Furthermore, Nkosi has performed his midfield playmaking role with aplomb by playing long, diagonal and combination play at the required tactical moments.
However, it is in attack where Amajimbos have their two talismen, Mduduzi Shabalala and Keviano Francis. Shabalala has tormented all the defenses in the tournament and scored goals, whilst Francis single-handedly eliminated Angola in this regional showpiece. Both these players are unpredictable, intelligent and possess a Big Match Temperament (BMT)
2.2 Players to watch
• Lindokuhle Nkosi
• Mduduzi Shabalala
• Keviano Francis
Whilst the jury is out on who will win this tussle, the stage is set for the neutrals to feast on this mouthwatering regional confrontation.
By FARPost Reporter