Zambia and Tanzania claimed emphatic victories at the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championships on Sunday to seal their place in the semifinals of the inaugural competition.
The East African guest nation defeated Eswatini 8-0 to showcase their quality and highlight their potential as possible champions.
Aisha Masaka scored a hat-trick, the first of the tournament, to set Tanzania on their way, while Enekia Kasonga Lunyamila (two), Ester Gindulya, Irene Kisisa and Shamimu Salum also got their names on the scoresheet.
Zambia sealed their place in the semifinals with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Botswana, and will now face a winner-takes-all clash with Tanzania on Tuesday for top-spot in the pool.
Maylan Mulenga netted two goals to take her tally for the tournament to four and to the top of the scorers’ charts. Thandiwe Ndhlovu and Mary Mambwe netted the other goals, while Theo George was on target for Botswana.
They will now wait to see the completion of the other pool, which will take place on Monday.
Hosts South Africa face Mozambique at the Gelvandale Stadium at 10h00 (08h00 GMT), needing just a point to seal their place in the next stage.
Namibia and Zimbabwe meet in the other fixture at the Wolfson Stadium at the same time, and with both teams on three points, it is a winner-takes-all scenario.
A point will favour Zimbabwe as they are ahead on goal-difference.
Monday will also see the final round of matches in Groups A and C in the COSAFA Women’s Championship.
South Africa need just a point against Madagascar at the Wolfson Stadium (12h45 kick-off; 10h45 GMT) to secure top spot in the pool and a place in the semifinals.
They will be without skipper Janine van Wyk, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury picked up in Friday’s 3-1 win over Malawi.
If Madagascar can grab a victory, and Malawi defeat Comoros Islands at the Gelvandale Stadium (12h45; 10h45 GMT) as expected, it would leave all three sides on six points and time for the calculators to determine which side advances.
Only the top team in each pool and the best-placed runner-up move to the semifinals.
Group C will also conclude as Zimbabwe and Eswatini (15h30; 13h30 GMT) battle it out for top spot in the pool and a semifinal place at the Wolfson Stadium.
Zimbabwe will need just a draw given their superior goal-difference, but it is a tough game to call with both sides in form.
At the same time, Angola and Mozambique will play at the Gelvandale Stadium to avoid the wooden spoon in the pool.