South Africa retained their Women’s Under-20 title at the AUSC Region 5 Games after a slender 1-0 victory over hosts Botswana in the final in Gaborone on Saturday.
Lindokuhle Gladile scored the only goal of the game on 75 minutes as South Africa kept up their excellent record in this competition to take home the gold medal, consigning Botswana to a worthy silver.
It was a tense final of few chances, but South Africa shaded the play and were deserved winners in the end, adding to the title they won in Angola two years ago when they beat Namibia 50-0 in the final.
Zimbabwe claimed the bronze medal after second half goals from Prayance Zvawanda and Valeria Padery gave them a 2-0 win over Namibia in the third-place play-off.
It is a fine result for the Zimbabweans, who will be delighted to come away from the tournament with a medal.
Keitumetse Dithebe from Botswana finished as the leading scorers with four goals to take home the Golden Boot.
The deciding matches in the Men’s Under-17 competition will be played on Sunday at the National Stadium in Gaborone, which will also bring to a close the football competitions at the AUSC Region 5 Games.
Zambia and Eswatini go head-to-head in the third-place play-off at 08h00 in the battle for the bronze medal, and the right to leave Botswana with some consolation.
That will be followed by the final at 15h00 as COSAFA Under-17 Championship holders aim for a double this year when they take on Tanzania.
It is a mouth-watering final between two fantastic teams and a fitting finale for the football competition.
Angola also played in the final of the Under-17 competition two years ago when they hosted the Games in Luanda, but on that occasion lost out to Zimbabwe.