ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka
MAURITIUS 0 ZAMBIA 3
A SPLENDID second-half display yesterday saw Zambia thump Mauritius and win the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA)
Under-17 Championship at St Francois Xavier Stadium in Port Louis.
“The boys deserve it. They worked for it. In the first half they were jittery but after we spoke to them at half-time they came into the second half strongly. This is the first time they were playing before a big crowd, so they were a bit uncomfortable,” Zambia coach Mumamba Numba said in an interview yesterday.
Numba congratulated the players for rising to the occasion.
“We only went to five provinces where we picked these boys from and we only had two weeks to prepare. I think they have shown they are quick to learn and adapting to situations very fast,” he said.
Numba said the players must be kept together for future engagements.
“The overall performance of the team has been exceptional since day one,” he said.
Man-of-the-match Prince Mumba drew first blood on 71 minutes and six minutes later substitute Christopher Phiri doubled the lead.
Defender Kingsley Hakwiya put the icing on the cake on 80 minutes firing past Mauritius goalkeeper Jean Michel.
The first half saw both teams shooting from long range.
Referee Andofetra Rakotojaona stopped the match on 14 minutes to remove home fans that gathered behind Zambia netminder Emmanuel Mphasi’s goal in a bid to intimidate him.
Andrew Phiri, Victor Kasokola, Hakwiya and Jonathan Kapelembe were in defence.
Clinton Lubula, Prince, Martin Njobvu and Muma Mumba were operating in midfield while Niza Simutenda and Lameck Banda were in attack.
Numba removed Lubula for Christopher Phiri, Michael Kafusha replaced Banda while John Mulalangabo was introduced for Muma.
Banda and Njobvu scored five times apiece.
And Football Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga commended the junior Chipolopolo for winning the trophy.
Meanwhile, Malawi beat South Africa 2-1 to finish third.