By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
In Gaborone, Botswana
THE South African Under-20 team, Amajita’s campaign to redeem their dented image in the Southern Region gained momentum after they beat Mauritius in the opening match of the Cosafa Youth Championships
Snothemba Ngidi scored the flood-gates as early minutes of the match minutes before Jerry Mxabo could brace himself with Thebani Mthembu hammering the final nail on top of the Islanders’ coffin.
The outcome should be seen as a warm welcome the team coach, Solly Luvhengo who was un-ceremonially appointed the team coach on top of the existing coach, Maqsood Chenia.
South Africa are chasing their third title of this competition under Metropolitan as the sponsor after having won the inaugural in 2006 during the championships held in Mafikeng, North West. The team however failed to defend the title in 2007 in Thulamahashe (Mpumalanga) which saw Zimbabwe annexing the title right under their nose, but then they (SA) regrouped in 2008 to win the title in Kimberley (Northern Cape) before they could lose the silver-ware to Zambia who won the competition back to back, in 2009 during the final match played at Soweto (Gauteng) and in 2010 here in Botswana.
Back to the game, Amajita took advantage over the disjointed defense department of the Islander, scoring their first goal as early as the 9th minute with Ngidi easily slottering home before Mxabo could increase their tally to 2-0 from a penalty spot in the 30th minute, and then brace himself in the 65th minute. Mthembu hammered the last nail on top Mauritius’ coffin.
Before they could achieve their dream to win the third title of this competition, Amajita will however have to overpower Tanzania and Zambia whom they play this coming Sunday and Tuesday respectively.
In another Group C match played at the University of Botswana, Thanzania held the defending champions, Zambia to a 3-3 draw while Zimbabwe and last year’s runners-up, Namibia played to a 1-1 draw in a Group B match.