Zambia U-17 national team booked its place in the semifinals of the ongoing COSAFA U17 Championships following a hard-fought 3-2 win over hosts Malawi at the Mpira Stadium on Wednesday.
The Junior Copper Bullets came into the match needing only a draw having thumped Eswatini 6-0 and South Africa 7-0. Head coach Osward Mutapa made six changes to his starting line up resting some of his key players.
Zambia took the lead in the sixth-minute, Lasmond Phiri who finished off a Rickson Ng'ambi cross from close range after some good work from Moses Mulenga. Frank Mahowa leveled matters 15 minutes later drilling the ball home with a well-taken left-footed shot after poor defending from the Zambian defenders.
The match went to the break level but Zambia regained their lead four minutes into the second stanza as Kelvin Mwanza provided a perfect through ball for Moses Mulenga to score Zambia's second of the match. Malawi however leveled matters nine minutes later as Chikumbutso Salima picked up the loose ball to score following a blunder from Zambia goalkeeper David Minganja who made a hash of his attempted clearance.
Substitute Peter Chikola produced a moment of magic scoring a direct corner kick to hand junior Chipolopolo the lead for the third time.
In the other match, Eswatini got the point they needed to secure second place as they played to a 1-1 draw with South Africa.
Zambia will now take on the runner-up in Group B, Angola, in the semifinals on Friday with that match is scheduled to kick-off at 14:30 at the Mpira Stadium. Eswatini will play Group B winners Mozambique in the other semifinal at 11h00.