By Kampala Sun writer
South Africa will take on Lesotho in the final of the 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships after their pair claimed tense semifinal victories at the Nkana Stadium on Thursday.
South Africa defeated Egypt 1-0 in a feisty affair thanks to a winner from Luvuyo Mkatshana just before halftime, while Lesotho defeated Uganda 6-5 on penalties after the two sides played to a 0-0 draw.
Lesotho will play in their third final after previous appearances in 1990 and 2005, but are seeking their first championship win. South Africa are five-time winners and could join Zimbabwe on six with victory in the final.
South Africa claimed their victory over Egypt despite playing the final 20 minutes with 10 men following the sending off of Lehlogonolo Matlou for a second bookable offence. The win was deserved though as the side also missed a number of other good opportunities to score.
Kamohelo Sambo missed a golden chance early on when he put his free header wide, before Mkatshana opened the scoring as he collected a cross, controlled expertly and beat Mohamed Sobhy in the Egyptian goal. Sifundo Sibiya then missed two great chances either side of halftime, on both occasions finding himself one-on-one with Sobhy, but unable to convert.
But South Africa were able to hold on and secure the win, having also beaten Egypt 2-1 in their final pool match on Monday.
Uganda and Lesotho played to a 0-0 draw in their semifinals, with both sides spurning good chances.
Frank Tumwesigye put a good headed chance high and wide, while Mohammad Shaban was denied from close-range.
At the other end, Raboama Koloti shot wildly at the near post after collecting a long pass from Bonang Mohapi.
The match went to penalties after both sides scored their first five to take the shoot-out to sudden death, Mujahid Ogama missed for the Ugandans.