By Sibusiso Masilela | 2019-10-21
SOCCER – THE national Under-17 endured a tough finish in the 2019 COSAFA Cup Under-17 after they were handed a 5-0 drubbing by Angola during the 3rd / 4th place play-off encounter played at Mpira Stadium yesterday.
The result shattered the podium finish dream for the coach Gcina ’Magiyane’ Dlamini-led side as the defeat deprived the local lads a chance to secure a bronze medal at the annual regional youth championships.
The squad’s coach Gcina ‘Magiyane’ Dlamini conceded that his charges failed to come to the party during the match when contacted.
“The boys were already tied and fatigued ahead of this match as we played some tough matches in the competition. We did try to motivate the boys before the match but clearly this was not our day.
I strongly believe that the team can still do better in future as we managed to reach the knockout stage with a thin squad.
“Overall, we are quite happy with the progress of the team in the competition and we are already looking at ways on how we can improve the team for other upcoming international assignments,” he said.
Eswatini managed a single win and a draw which was against hosts Malawi and neighbours South Africa during the group stages.
The local side’s dream of reaching the finals was shattered by Mozambique, who handed the Eswatini junior national side a 1-0 drubbing during the semi-finals played on Friday afternoon.
Zambia were crowned champions of the tournament after beating Mozambique 2-0 at the Mpira Stadium yesterday.
Eswatini won the fair-play award for being the most disciplined side in the competition during the presentation which took place after the final.
The national Under-17 side will return home this evening by road from Johannesburg where they would alight from a flight from Malawi at the OR Tambo International Airport.
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