South Africa won the gold medal without kicking a ball on Wednesday in the women’s football competition at the African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
A 1-1 draw between Namibia and Botswana ensured that the South Africans could not be caught at the top of the mini-league with one round of matches to be played.
South Africa have six points from their two games, followed by Zimbabwe (three), and Namibia and Botswana with one each.
Zimbabwe could draw level with the South Africans in Friday’s final round of games if they beat Botswana and the pool leaders lose to Namibian, but tournament rules state that teams are separated on their head-to-head record and with South African having already beaten Zimbabwe 5-0, they would still be in front.
Chedza Katsibe had put Botswana in front in Wednesday’s clash, but Natasha Vekarapi equalised for Namibia in the second half.
In the men’s competition, Malawi sealed their place in the semifinals with a 1-1 draw against Swaziland.
The point moves them to seven in their three games, a mark only Zimbabwe and Angola can match, but as Malawi defeated the Angolans 1-0 in the earlier pool games, they cannot be overhauled.
Wandile Dlamini put Swaziland ahead just before halftime, but after they had Melusi Nyaweni sent off for a second bookable offence, Malawi took advantage of their extra man and equalised through Yusuf Luwanda seven minutes from time.
Zambia and Namibia finished in the top two places in Group B to advance to the semifinals.
Zambia thumped Lesotho 4-0 to continue their excellent form in this competition. Patrick Ngoma headed Zambia in front before Harrison Musonda grabbed a brace in the second half and Ngoma got his second late on.
Namibia were held to a 0-0 draw by South Africa but that proved enough to finish runners-up in the pool.
There will be one match in Group A on Thursday as Angola look to keep their hopes of a semifinal place alive when they take on Swaziland at the Luveve Stadium (kick-off 15h30).
If Angola draw they will need Malawi to defeat Zimbabwe in their clash on Friday, while a win for Angola would be enough if Zimbabwe cannot find three points against the Malawians.