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18 Dec 2006 10:21
A less than appreciative mood from the crowd at the Mafikeng Stadium regarding their team’s performance did not stop the South African under-20 team, better known as Amajita, from winning the Metropolitan Cosafa Cup with a 2-1 win over Zambia on Sunday.
First- and second-half strikes by midfielders Bafana Sibeko and Thulani Maseko ensured the victory for the host team, with Zambian captain and tournament’s top goal-scorer Sebastian Mwanza scoring for the visitors.
After impressive displays in the group stages, Amajita took the foot off the pedal in the final match, where they could have shown more.
Coach Serame Letsoaka took a defensive approach, leaving attacking midfielder and catalyst Sibusiso Hadebe starting on the bench.
With Amajita sitting back after taking the lead, Zambia went into attacking mode and they were rewarded by Mwanza’s strike in the 79th minute after a scramble in the Amajita box.
Zambia last won the tournament in 2003 and South Africa were triumphant in 2004, with both teams hungry for success at the outset. But Amajita’s two early goals took a lot of the life out of the game.
On a partly cloudy afternoon, even the usually nippy Hadebe gave a below-par performance by his standard after finally being brought into the game.—Sapa
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