Wonderfull news qualifying but from nBlack Aces pint of view, seeing three current and one ex-player on the park was even better news. James McFarlane has strated all three of the opening matches, while Junior Nare made the starting XL after coming on as 2nd half impact player in the 1st two games. Today again, he scored another 2 goals that takes his tally to 4. Bryn Deeley made his debut coming on for Sithole in the 42nd minute.
Zambia and Amajimbos finished level on six points with Mozambique, with the teams having to be separated by goal-difference, and the South Africa coming out on top to head the pool, with Zambia second.
That is because the calculations were made by removing the results against Madagascar. That left all three sides on three points, but South Africa with a +1 goal-difference, Zambia even and Mozambique -1.
Zambia had been expected to see off the Mozambican challenge, but lost 1-0 thanks to a goal from Geny Catamo two minutes before halftime.
It was a surprise defeat for the Zambians, who have looked in complete command through the tournament so far.
South Africa were then given a real scare by Madagascar, but roared back to win the game 5-3 and book their semifinal spot.
They took the lead through Olefile Ramatlo, but three goals in the final 10 minutes before halftime turned the match in the Malagasy’s favour.
Dillan Fanomezantsoa, Stéphan Rakotovao and Mamitina Andriamahazaka netted to turn the tie in the islanders favour, though in among there was also a strike from South Africa’s Azola Tshobeni.
Madagascar led 3-2 at the break, but South Africa managed to turn around the see-saw battle again in the second period when Tshobeni grabbed his second to equalise, and then Alex da Silva and Mohammed Shahabodien added further goals in the final 10 minutes.
That last goal proved crucial for South Africa in lifting them to the top of the pool and they will now face the second-placed team in Group A, which will be concluded on Wednesday.
As things stand Malawi head the pool on goal-difference from hosts Mauritius, with both teams having already booked their place in the semifinals.
They meet in their final pool game on Wednesday at the Stade St Francois Xavier in Port Louis, while Botswana and Zimbabwe play for third place at the MFA Technical Centre.
Both matches kick-off at 15h00 local time (11h00 GMT).
This is how they lined up:
South African starting XI: Constandin Christodoulou(GK); Barry Sithole (Deeley 42'); Sizwe Ntanzi; Kieron Jacks (C); Joshua Momdu; Cade Erickson; Mohammed Shahabodien; Azola Tshobeni (Jonas 45’); James McFarlene; Olifile Ramatlo (Da Silva 62’); Junior Nare
Substitutions: Thabang Maema; Koketso Mathibe; Storm Jonas; Omphile Moeletsi; Boikanyo Segotlong; Lungile Makambi; Bryn Deelay; Junior Khiba; Alex Da Silva
Malagasy starting XI: Ralibera Avo (GK); Faniry Andriamanandaza; Johary Razafimanjary; Dillan Fanomezantsoa; Stephen Rakotovao; Anjarasoa Andrimahazaka; Henintsoa Rajaonarivelo; Tsioriniaina Andraitsiresy; Mamisoa Andriamalala (C); Rafizy Todisoa
Substitutions: Jimmy Rakotoniaina; Tommy Andriamomonjy; Sebastien Raladindranto; Kevin Andriamihaja (GK); Lova Marson; Tiavina Randrianjohany
Referee: Patrice Milazar (Mauritius)
1st Assistant Referee: Cauvelet Louis Ralph Fabien (Mauritius)
2nd Assistant Referee: Jimmy Phiri (Zambia)
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
Malawi 2 2 0 0 7 0 6
Mauritius 2 2 0 0 3 1 6
Botswana 2 0 0 2 1 4 0
Zimbabwe 2 0 0 2 0 6 0
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
South Africa* 3 2 0 1 10 7 6
Zambia 3 2 0 1 10 4 6
Mozambique 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
Madagascar 3 0 0 3 4 14 0
*SA top the pool on head-to-head against Zambia and Mozambique.
Matches Played: 10
Goals scored: 39
Biggest victory: Zambia 7 Madagascar 1 (Group B, July 21)
Most goals in a game: 8 – Zambia 7 Madagascar 1 (Group B, July 21)
5 goals – Lameck Banda (Zambia)
4 – Junior Nare (South Africa)
3 – Chinsinsi Maonga (Malawi), Martin Njobvu (Zambia), Mohammed Shahabodien (South Africa)
1 – Mamitina Andriamahazaka (Madagascar), Mamisoa Andriamalala (Madagascar), Jean Aristide (Mauritius), Geny Catamo (Mozambique), Adriano Chiu Chung Fat (Mauritius), Dillan Fanomezantsoa (Madagascar), Alex Da Silva (South Africa), Kingsley Hakwiya (Zambia), Celton Jamisse (Mozambique), Edilson Luis (Mozambique), Chikondi Mbeta (Malawi), James McFarlane (South Africa), Prince Mumba (Zambia), Patrick Mwaungulu (Malawi), Gerson Novela (Angola), Louis Philibert (Mauritius), Stéphan Rakotovao (Madagascar), Olefile Ramatlo (South Africa), Godfrey Tauyatswala (Botswana), Frank Titani (Malawi), Tathedwa Willard (Malawi)