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Under-17 boys top group A

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Deklerk Msakakuona

Malawi Under-17 Boys National Football Team has finished on top in Group A of the Cosafa Youth Championship following Botswana’s 1-0 victory over Namibia at Bingu National Stadium Tuesday.

The junior Flames had already qualified for the semifinals after they beat Namibia 2-1 on Sunday. However, Malawi will wait to know their opponents in the semifinals as the Group B winners’ battle is between South Africa and Zambia, who face-off this afternoon.

Both Zambia and South Africa qualified for the semifinals with six points each.

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Malawi will face either South Africa or Zambia in the semifinals.

Malawi, as Group A leaders, will meet runners-up in Group B on Friday whereas winners of pool B will face Botswana.

A draw will be enough for South Africa to finish on top of Group B whereas Zambia will need a win to top the pool.

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Malawi Under-17 Coach Deklerk Msakakuona was not available for a comment yesterday.

But after qualifying for the semifinals on Sunday, Msakakuona said his troops were ready to face any team.

“We have to focus on the semifinals now. We know we will meet strong teams but we are prepared,” Msakakuona said.

At stake in this year’s tournament is a place at the TotalEnergies Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be staged in Algeria in April next year.

Finalists will qualify for the finals.

There is also a chance to be crowned regional champions. Malawi last won the Cosafa Cup when it hosted it in 2001 but the team performed poorly in 2019 in Blantyre, where they exited in the group stages.

The junior Flames last qualified for Afcon Youth Championship in 2009 before qualifying for the World Cup in 2010 in Nigeria.

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