Mozambique have made history by winning their regional title for the first time after a 1-0 victory over Namibia in the final of the COSAFA Qualifiers for TOTAL U-20 AFCON, Mauritania 2021 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
Both teams had already qualified for the TOTAL U-20 AFCON, Mauritania 2021 by virtue of reaching the final, but there was plenty of desire to also lift the regional trophy for the first time.
Namibia would have been maiden winners too, but Mozambique become just the fifth nation after Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Madagascar to take home the COSAFA Under-20 trophy.
The only goal of the game was scored by Dercio Augusto as his free-kick was put into the box, and somehow went through everybody and into the back of the net.
Namibia had their chances in the game, but could not find a cutting edge in the box and had to settle for the silver medal, the second time they have been runners-up after also losing to Zambia in the 2010 decider.
Angola picked up the bronze medal for the third year in a row as they defeated defending champions Zambia 2-1.
It was the same scoreline by which they defeated Zambia in the 2018 bronze-medal match, with the hard work done in the first half as goals from Benvindo Afonso and tournament joint top-scorer Ambrosini Salvador handed them the advantage.
But Zambia were much improved in the second period and peppered the Angolan goal, and they had the chance to reduce the deficit when they won a penalty, which was converted by Muma Mumba.
That was the way it stayed, with Angola taking home some consultation from another solid tournament .
Zambia captain Prince Mumba was named Player of the Tournament and his reward will be a trip to Spain for an ‘experience’ with leading side Villarreal CF, courtesy of LaLiga Santander.
Mumba will have the chance to train with the club’s famous academy team, have a meet-and-greet with the first team, a tour of the club’s world-class facilities and, COVID-19 dependent, take in a Villarreal CF fixture in LaLiga.
Mumba was chosen by the COSAFA Technical Study Group as the best player on show in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Mozambique goalkeeper Kimiss Zavala won the Golden Glove prize, while Sinenjongo Mkiva (South Africa) and Salvador shared the Golden Boot after their three goals.
Salvador was also leading scorer in 2019, but on that occasion netted six goals to top the list on his own.
Namibia were handed the Fair Play prize and they will be delighted to have reached the continental finals in this age-group for the first time in their history.
The tournament brings to a close the COSAFA competitions for 2020, which has seen four played in just under eight weeks, all under tough conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Africa won the COSAFA Women’s Championship, while East African Guest nation Tanzania claimed the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship.
South Africa were also victorious in the COSAFA Qualifiers for TOTAL U-17 AFCON, Morocco 2021, before Mozambique rounded out a most extraordinary year with their triumph on Sunday.