ZIMBABWE’s Young Warriors will meet Angola in Thursday’s semi-final of the Cosafa Under-20 Championships currently underway in Maseru, Lesotho.
The Young Warriors finished top of Group D after yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Mozambique, initially in Group B, at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru while Angola were also held to a 2-2 draw by Botswana, initially in Group D, to top Group B.
The organisers were forced to put these cross-over matches to determine the winners of Groups B and D who had three teams each at the start of the tournament.
Group A and C had four teams each and will be playing their quarter-finals today to determine the last two teams from those two groups.
So Zimbabwe, top of Group D after the first two rounds of matches were made to play Mozambique, while Group B leaders Angola faced Group D runners-up Botswana.
Before yesterday’s matches, the Young Warriors technical team had made it public that they wanted to avoid Angola at the semis, preferring to face them in the finals, but after yesterday’s results, Jairos Tapera and his men will now have to face their worst nightmare in the Young Palancas Negras.
“There is a lot of competition, lots of skills and determination from all the teams. I respect all the teams including Angola and my wish is to play better in the semi-finals than we did today (yesterday) and qualify for the final,” Tapera said after yesterday’s match.
Young Warriors star Walter Musona could not recover in time for the match, but his absence was hardly missed in the opening minutes as Zimbabwe thoroughly dominated play.
They were deservedly in front just 10 minutes into the match when Prince Edward High School student and Under-17 captain Tinotenda Kadewere collected a pass from Wisdom Mutasa before beating the Mozambique goalie Elias Macamo with a rising shot from inside the box.
However, Mozambique responded just after the hour mark when the troublesome Manuel Afonso chipped over Young Warriors keeper Donovan Bernard.