COSAFA Men's U-17: Namibia hammer Seychelles 8-3 in opening match

Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Namibia lit up the opening day of the 2018 COSAFA men's Under-17 Championship with a stunning 8-3 victory over Seychelles in their Group A clash at the Stade St Francois Xavier in Port Louis on Thursday.

Prins Tjiueza scored four goals and Tyrin George a hat-trick as the 2016 champions ran riot in the second period after claiming a 4-3 half-time lead.

Seychelles, who scored their goals through Afandi Aboudou, Jarrel Suzette and Rino Pauline, had levelled the game at 3-3 after 20 minutes in what was an action-packed opening to the tournament.

But the islanders faded in the second period as Namibia continued to keep the pressure on and provided an early show of their potential to go all the way again in this year’s competition.

Hosts Mauritius, who were finalists last year, were left stunned following a 1-0 loss to Botswana in the other match in Group A.

The closely-fought clash looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw before Oageng Maphorisa converted from the spot for the Young Zebras with eight minutes remaining.

Home defender Laurent Maison Rouge, who conceded the spot-kick, was also handed the first red card of the tournament as Mauritius finished the game with 10 men.

There was also a single fixture in Group B, where defending champions Zambia were held to a 0-0 draw by Mozambique.

Only the top team in each pool will advance to the semifinals along with the best runner-up as the 12 competing sides seek to be crowned champions and in doing so win a place in next year’s African Under-17 Championships that will be held in Tanzania.

The action continues on Friday with three more matches, including a Group B opener for two-time champions South Africa at the Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue.

South Africa have never failed to make the semifinals of this competition and are among the favourites again with a number of the players who served them so well last year.

Lesotho will provide a stern opening test though and will be ready to punish any slip-ups.

Before that there will be two games in Group C as Angola take on Malawi in the early fixture.

Malawi have finished third in the last two championships in Mauritius and would dearly love to turn bronze into gold. Angola have been missing from this stage in recent years and will hope to make a triumphant return.

Zimbabwe have underachieved at Under-17 level although they have a rich source of talents in the country and they will get the chance to show their quality with an opener against Swaziland.

In what is likely to be a tight group, it will be crucial for both sides get off to a strong start.

Below are Thursday's results at a glance:
Group A
Namibia 8 Seychelles 3
Mauritius 0 Botswana 1

Group B
Zambia 0 Mozambique 0

Friday's fixtures
Angola vs Malawi
Swaziland vs Zimbabwe
Lesotho vs South Africa

Group A standings

Group A       P          W        D         L          GF       GA       Pts
Namibia        1          1          0          0          8          3          3
Botswana      1          1          0          0          1          0          3
Mauritius       1          0          0          1          0          1          0
Seychelles     1          0          0          1          3          8          0

Group B          P          W        D         L          GF       GA       Pts
Mozambique    1          0          1          0          0          0          1
Zambia            1          0          1          0          0          0          1
Lesotho           0          0          0          0          0          0          0
South Africa    0          0          0          0          0          0          0

Each of the six Zonal Unions - CECAFA, COSAFA, UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU A, and WAFU B - will organise their regional qualifiers featuring teams from the zone.

From mid-July to September, the qualifiers will take off from Mauritius (COSAFA), through Equatorial Guinea (UNIFFAC), Tanzania (CECAFA), Tunisia (UNAF), Niger (WAFU B) before terminating in Senegal (WAFU A).

The winner of each zonal competition qualifies for the final tournament, with the exception of the zone of the previous winner, entitled to two slots. Since Mali won the title in 2017, WAFU A will qualify two teams.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 20July2018

20 july 2018 12:24:01

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