The South African National Under-20 side Amajita cemented their place at the top of Group C of the Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championships with a 1-0 win against Zambia on Saturday in Maseru.
A moment of silence was observed at the start of the match in honour of the late former SA President Nelson Mandela. The SA flag was also at half-mast.
The match got off to a flying start and both teams missed the opportunity to grab the opener two minutes after kick-off. There were several other chances and Zambia almost punished Amajita on the 21st minute but the effort went off target.
Centre-back Rivaldo Coetzee was at his best as he kept Zambian striker Ronaldo Chibwe at bay. The match went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
The second half started much like the first half and Amajita appeared to have taken coach Shakes Mashaba's halftime talk to heart. Playmaker Nhlakanipho Ntuli fired a cracker on the 57th minute following an impressive move by the South Africans.
Zambia sought to make a quick reply with a double substitution on the 61st with captain Musonda replaced by Mbewe and Dave Daka making way for his namesake Patson Daka. South Africa tighten things a bit with winger Fagrie Lakay coming off for centre-back Madisha Motjeka.
Things fell apart for Zambia 10 minutes before the end of the match when striker Ronaldo Chibwe was handed a red card for a late tackle on Amajita's Maraisane.
"We are happy for the win, it was never going to be an easy match against Zambia, but we had a plan and it worked. We knew we had to keep an eye on their number 9 and 17. Two matches into the tournament and we are happy to be on top of the group, but our work is not done, we will still have a match against Namibia on Tuesday," said Mashaba.
The former national under-23 and Bafana Bafana coach expressed his gratitude to the people of Lesotho who have thrown their weight behind Amajita. "We would love to thank the people of Lesotho, for all the support they have shown us," said Mashaba.
Player of the match was Rivaldo Coetzee
South Africa: Febuary, Seriba, Magqwaka, Coetzee, Maraisane, Ngubo, Ntuli, Lakay, Leepile, Moerane, Luthuli
Substitutions: Lakay off; Motjeka on 67th min
Zambia: Banda,Chepeshi, Mkandawire, Tembo, Ngwenya, Chibwe, Mwanda, Musonda, Sauta, P.Daka, S. Daka
Substitutions: Musonda off, on Mbewe,s Dave Daka off, on Patson Daka 61min, Salaka off on Lwandamina 76th minute.