23 July 2018

Malawi Under 20 Bow Out

Lilongwe — Malawi Under 20 National Team Saturday bowed out of the 2019 AFCON Youth Challenge Cup after they went down 0-2 against South Africa's Amajita in a match played at the Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Area 48 in Lilongwe.

Amajita are through to the finals slated for March 2019 in Niger and the two teams drew 0-0 in Johannesburg, South Africa last Sunday.

The visitors scored in each half to cement their victory and ensure their qualification to the finals. The first opening seven minutes South Africa looked to be aggressive particularly on the left flank, Promise Mkhuma was causing a lot of problems to Malawi's right back, Kelvin Kadzinje.

Malawi twice threatened to score through Francisco Madinga and Timothy Silwimba in the eighth and 11th minute but their efforts went begging.

The Amajita went into lead in the 14th minute when unmarked, Kobamelo Kodisang planted a loose ball in the penalty area when Mkhuma's cross had eluded defender, Hadji Wali and keeper, Charles Thom.

Malawi's Peter Banda in his own class twice sent long range shots in the 25th and 30th minute but failed to beat South Africa's alert goalie, Khulekani Kubheka.

South Africa's dangerman, Mkhuma got injured in the 35th minute and was replaced by Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.

Malawi could have leveled the scores at the dot of half time when defender, Wali's header from Banda's corner kick was cleared by South Africa's defender, Keenan Abrahams.

Amajita walked tall into the dressing with a slender lead at recess and home fans had high expectations for a come back.

The second half Madagascan referee, Avombitana Andofetra waved play on in the 47th minutes when defender Abrahams had handled the ball in the box in desperate attempt to clear the ball.

South Africa's Lyle Foster could have buried the game in the 49th minute when Malawi's defence was caught napping but he blasted the ball over with keeper, Thom at his mercy.

A minute later, South Africa's Kodiang wasted another chance after Malawi's defence mix up when he shot wide from the edge of the penalty box.

At the hour mark, Malawi's Chinsinsi Maonga header from Madinga's cross but the ball went over the bar.

Malawi brought in Chikondi Mbeta for Maonga while the visitors rested Foster for Gadinkane Modise in the 66th minute.

Malawi were dealt a heavy blow in the 72nd minute when injured Banda was pulled out for Patrick Rudi and his departure exposed the teams lack of ability to create chances in front of goal.

With six minutes to time, South Africa increased the lead to 2-0 when Luke Le Roux sent a cross which was connected home by James Monyane after Malawi's keeper, Thom, failed to clear his line.

Malawi's overlapping defender, Wali had his floated cross into the goal mouth parried by goalie, Kubheka for safety.

Malawi's substitute, Mbeta was shown a straight red card by referee Andofetra in the 93rd minute when he fouled Wiseman Meyiwa.

"We need to commend the boys for putting up a gallant fight. It's just unfortunate that we let in simple goals," Malawi Under 20 head coach, Meke Mwase said.

He said the boys need be kept and they have a promising future for next assignments.

South African Under-20 coach, Thabo Senong said youth development has won and hailed Malawi for assembling a good side which proved to be sturborn in the first leg in South Africa.

"Am happy we have qualified for the finals in Niger and we thanks our players for sticking to the game principles which we had planned," he stated.

South Africa will be the only Cosafa representative to the 2019 Under-20 AFCON Youth Championship in Niger next year in March.

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