The Amajita national U20 men’s football team went down 1-0 to Zambia in the first semi-final of the CAF U20 African Cup of Nations at Heroes National Stadium on Wednesday night.

A goal by Edward Chilufya in extra time was the only thing separating the two southern African giants in what was always going to be a close affair in a stadium packed to the rafters.


The match was finally decided by a strike in the second half of extra time after the two sides had battled for 90 minutes without a goal.

Despite the loss, Amajita have already booked their place in the U20 World Cup in Korea in May, by virtue of having reached the semi-final.

The match produced some breathtaking football in which both sides created gilt-edged chances and the late goal was gut-wrenching for South Africa who produced some exiting football throughout the match.

The young Chipolopolo side had the majority of the chances in the opening exchanges but Amajita goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto was the difference as he made numerous saves throughout the match.

‘Congratulations to Zambia, they gave us a run for our money. We always expected a tough match and we are very proud we managed to keep a clean sheet for the whole 90 minutes. We are impressed with the character showed by the boys despite the loss,’ said Amajita coach Thabo Senong.

Amajita will now wait for Thursday’s second semi-final of the CAF U20 African Cup of Nations between Guinea and Senegal in Ndola.

The loser of that encounter will face South Africa in the third/fourth place play-off while the winner will play Zambia to determine the champions on Sunday.

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