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Zambia beat Botswana out of Africa's under-20 soccer championship

(Xinhua)

15:38, December 09, 2011

GABORONE, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Botswana's Young Zebras crushed out of the 2011 Metropolitan Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) under-20 youth championship owing to a 2-0 loss to defending champions Zambia at the Molepolole Sports Complex on Thursday evening.

First half goals from Evans Kangwa and Kizito Cheelo were enough to seal victory for the Copper bullets booking them a date against Angola in the finals scheduled for Saturday. It will be the defending champions' third straight final in as many years having won the last two installments.

The Young Zebras started the game on a high booed by an emphatic crowd that came in numbers under a welcoming weather following a cool breeze late in the afternoon.

Michael Pillar had Botswana's first shot at goal 25 seconds after kick off but the shot went narrowly wide. Ogomoditse Baoleni followed with a long range effort on the 2nd minute that was easily dealt with by Zambian keeper Moses Mapulanga. Young Zebras goalie Bobby Mathe was tested on the 9th minute by Ronald Kampamba from close range but he was equal to task.

The Copper Bullets were now starting to settle into the match distabilizing Botswana defence. The Young Zebras conceded a set piece on a dangerous area outside the box on the 26th minute.

Kangwa stepped forward executing a brilliant kick that hit the crossbar underneath before crossing the line. The Young Zebras defence were now shaky as Zambia continued pilling pressure. Kizito Cheelo doubled Zambia's lead with a cracker from a few yards outside the box after an excellent control in front of the defence.

Tshepo Mokotedi nearly pulled one back for the home side with two minutes before time but his header came off the upright with the goalkeeper beaten. The second half became a bit rough with dirty tackles flying all over the field.

The local lads tried hard pushing forward to pull a goal back but could not penetrate the Zambian defence.

Midway through the half, Zambia resorted to some time wasting tactics resulting in the referee giving four yellow cards for the offence. Botswana tried some slow build ups but none beared fruit. Kangwa nearly made it 3-0 the Copper Bullets on the 78th minute but his effort was cleared off the line.

The Young Zebras will now play Malawi in the third place playoff before the final on Saturday.

 
 
 
 
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