Lusaka - Zambia became the first Southern African team to qualify for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations after booking a place at the ongoing 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship.
The Championships which are being held in South Africa will be used as zonal qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Morocco next-year in July.
Zambia qualified for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations after ensuring their place in the final of the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship with a massive 6-2 win over Malawi at Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday.
The win means Zambia will finish in the top two in the four-team mini-pool, enough to reach Sunday’s final, and so they have already earned their spot in Morocco at the continental finals next year.
With only two teams from the zone expected to grace the Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations finals, finalists of the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship will earn a place at the continental tournament.
Following Zambia qualification, and with only a single slot remaining, hosts South Africa find themselves in the driving seat with the Junior Flames of Malawi in with a slim chance of making the trip to Morocco.
South Africa need just a point against Zambia on November 26 to ensure their place in the final, though even a defeat could suffice if other results go their way. They are three points ahead of Malawi on the table, and assuming South Africa lose to Zambia and Malawi beat Angola, the Junior Flames would still need to make up a five-goal swing.
The Malawi-South Africa match finished 2-2, thus the head-to-head record is not applicable to separate them.
It will come down to goal-difference, and with South Africa currently on +1 and Malawi on -4, the latter have it all to do.
The final round of pool matches will be played simultaneously on Thursday, with both kicking off at 15:30.