Zimbabwe U-17s on course for glory

2007-12-12 02:26:10 Xinhua English

HARARE, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's Under-17 side are on course for success in another regional competition in Windhoek, Namibia, The Herald reported on Wednesday.

Rodwell Dhlakama's teenagers have defied odds to power their way into the Cosafa Under-17 semifinal after topping Group C with an unbeaten run.

They will now face northern neighbors Zambia in a crunch semifinal in Windhoek on Wednesday while the other semifinal clash pits Malawi, who finished as the best runners-up, and Group A winners South Africa.

Despite traveling to Namibia in batches on the eve of their opening match against the hosts last Saturday night, the Young Warriors defied such odds to force a 1-1 draw.

Coach Dhlakama and six other players who were in the second batch actually arrived in Windhoek hours before the match, a move that forced a delay to the start of their game against the Namibians.

That the Young Warriors were in a tougher four-team group that also included Angola and Swaziland while the other groups had three teams each, meant the Group C countries had to play their matches on successive days.

After getting off to a slow start with the 1-1 draw against Namibia, the Young Warriors moved a gear up when they upstaged Angola 2-1 in their second match on Sunday night.