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Masuku, Motupa Lead SA U23 Past Zambia

A brace from Gift Motupa and a solitary strike from Menzi Masuku handed the South African U23 side a 3-2 win over Zambia.

It was an evenly contested affair in the opening 20 minutes, although Owen Da Gama's charges had the only real opening when Mahlambi's close range effort had been blocked.

The South Africans had another chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute, as Kwanda Mngonyama rose well to meet Keagan Dolly's corner but he failed to direct his header on target.

The Zambians had their first opening in the 26th minute as Benedict Chepeshi forced Jody February into a superb save with a stinging effort from 20-yards out.

Despite South Africa shading the possession statistics, it was Zambia who broke the deadlock in the 25th minute courtesy of a well-struck volley from Conlyde Luchanga.
 
Da Gama's charges were also awarded a number of set-pieces in the final third, but they were unable to take advantage.

South Africa leveled matters shortly after the halftime break, as Menzi Masuku fired into the bottom corner, after a goal-mouth scramble in the box.

Da Gama's side went ahead a few minutes later, as Kwanda Mngonyama headed the ball into the danger zone for Gift Motupa to turn home from six-yards out.

South Africa then got their third in the 53rd minute, as Motupa curled home an effort at Nsabata's near post, after some fine one-touch passing.

Amaglug-glug were then dealt a blow after the hour-mark, as Mobara picked up an injury and had to be replaced.

Zambia managed to reduce the deficit int he 73rd minute, as Billy Mutale pounced on a loose ball in the box to volley into the bottom corner.

The Zambians pushed for an equaliser, but Da Gama's charges managed to see out a nervous final few moments to register their first win of the tournament.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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