Pre-tournament favourites Mozambique have claimed the 2021 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship title following a 3-1 victory over East African guest nation Tanzania in the final at Durban's South Beach on Sunday.
The match brought to an end a thrilling competition that was both hugely entertaining but also showcased the incredible skills in the region, with Mozambique claiming the crown.
They add to the silver medal they won at the 2021 CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations which earned them a place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia earlier this year.
Mozambique took the lead in the decider with a goal from Helio Mahota, but Abdulkadir Tabib equalised for Tanzania.
Rachide Smith netted his fifth goal of the competition to restore the Mozambique advantage, before Julio Manjate added a third with a spectacular bicycle-kick from distance. It was a frenetic final played at a terrific pace with end-to-end action.
The Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament went to Mozambique star Nelson Manuel, who was a worthy winner in having played a huge role in seeing his side to the title.
His teammate Manuel Domingo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper.
In all there were 75 goals scored in the 10 matches at the competition, providing three days of superb action.
Mozambique are the second team to lift the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship after Madagascar won the inaugural event in Seychelles in 2015.
Recently COSAFA signed a three-year partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the City of eThekwini to host several annual tournaments in Durban, including the beach soccer competition.
The agreement runs from August 2021 to December 2023, and provides the COSAFA Cup, COSAFA Women's Champions League and COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship with certainty over the hosting of the trio of annual events in what are the most uncertain of times.
The three tournaments will be staged in the coastal city each year over that period, making use of the world-class football facilities on offer and the excellent all-round infrastructure in travel, transport, and communications.
Meanwhile, City of eThekwini made sure there were more winners on the day when they hosted a sandcastle sculpture competition.
Lindo Zungu (R10,000), Lucas Mahlangu (R5,000) and Jabulani Ndlanzi (R2,500) were the three prize-winners on the day.
Tanzania 1 (Abdulkadir Tabib) Mozambique 3 (Helio Mahota, Rachide Smith, Julio Manjate)
GROUP A P W W+ WP L GF GA GD PTS
Angola (Q) 2 2 0 0 0 12 7 3 6
South Africa (Q) 2 1 0 0 1 5 6 -1 3
Seychelles 2 0 0 0 2 8 12 -2 0
GROUP B P W W+ WP L GF GA GD PTS
Mozambique (Q) 2 1 0 1 0 12 7 5 4
Tanzania (Q) 2 1 0 0 1 6 5 1 3
Comoros 2 0 0 0 2 4 10 -6 0
Key: P = Played; W = Won; W+ = Won in extra-time; WP = Won on penalties; GF = Goals For; GA = Goals Against; PTS = Points
Three points for a win
Two points for a win in extra-time
One point for a win via penalty kicks
Matches Played: 10
Goals scored: 75
Biggest victory: Mozambique 8 Comoros 3 (Group B, November 17) ; Angola 7 Seychelles 4 (Group A, November 18)
Most goals in a game: 14 - Angola 8 Seychelles 6 (Group A, November 18)
6 goals - Nelson Manuel (Mozambique)
5 - Hansel Coeur de Lion (Seychelles), Nduduzo Phakathi (South Africa), Rachide Smith (Mozambique), Abdulkadir Tabib (Tanzania)
4 - Camadjo (Angola), End-Cole (Angola), Salim Madi (Comoros), Stephano Mapunda (Tanzania),
3 - Jaruph Juma (Tanzania), Julio Manjate (Mozambique)
2 -Ali Moussa (Comoros), Minenhle Ndlovu (South Africa), Lorddy Sinon (Seychelles), Paulo (Angola), Colin Tirant (Seychelles)
1 - Mike Ballette (Seychelles), Ramosette Cumbe (Mozambique), Gomes (Angola), Ibrahim Hassani (Tanzania), Xolani Hlela (South Africa), Michel Joubert (Seychelles), Helio Mahota (Mozambique), Yuran Malate (Mozambique), Mamy (Angola), Bachir Mussa (Mozambique), Nuno (Angola), Raul (Angola), Ammar Ali Said (Comoros), Djafar Soilihi (Comoros), Marlon Sophola (Seychelles), Manuel Tivane (Mozambique)
Own goals - Said Asmane (Comoros), Mike Ballette (Seychelles)