The Malawi Under-17 national football team still has a chance to qualify for the semi-finals at the on-going African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Youth Games in Botswana despite their 1-2 loss to Tanzania.
They just need to win their last Group B match against Angola at Jamal Ground this afternoon to qualify for the last-four stage as each of the four teams in the group has won and lost a single game.
Before their loss to Tanzania, Malawi came from behind to beat South Africa’s Amajimbos 2-1 in Group B opener. The best two teams from the group will make it to the semi-finals alongside top-two sides from Group A, which has Botswana, Zambia, e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland) and Namibia.
“Our group is now open because each team has won one and lost one as well. This means the result of our last game will determine our fate,” said Under-17 national team coach DeKlerk Msakakuona yesterday.
“This is why despite our loss to Tanzania, we have quickly worked on our shortfalls so as to beat Angola in our last group match tomorrow [today]. We are confident of progressing to the semi-final stage.”
According to the competition’s football schedule, the winners of Group B will face Group A runners-up while Group A leaders will battle it out against Group B runners-up in the semis on Friday at UB Stadium. The finals are expected this Sunday at Botswana National Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Under-20 national netball team has intensified their gold medal hunt at the games with two consecutive 40-37 and 68-29 victories over Zimbabwe and Namibia respectively, yesterday.
The Junior Queens started off their campaign on a poor note in the seven-nation netball event after going down 38-48 to rivals South Africa in their opener. However, they made a quick recovery with a 60-30 win against Lesotho before adding two more wins against Zambia (56-32) and Zimbabwe.
Malawi now remains with two games to complete their round-robin fixtures; against Botswana and Namibia.
“We are hopeful to win all our remaining games,” said Junior Queens coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji.