Day three of the TotalEnergies U20 AFCON Egypt 2023 COSAFA Qualifiers continued with some exciting youth football action, as Botswana gave themselves a fighting chance of advancing to the next round following a 1-0 win over Mauritius, while Zambia overcame hosts Eswatini by 2-0 at the Somhlolo Stadium.
The scorching heat resulted in a very slow start to the 12h30 kick off between Botswana and Mauritius with both sides opting to reserve their energies in the demanding heat of Lobamba.
It was Mauritius who asked the first question of the keeper after Jaqcues Prosper did well to time his run from a through ball, but his misdirected shot went wide of target.
The deadlock eventually broke in the 26th minute after a lapse of concentration from the water-break resulted in a set piece on the edge of the box finding its way to Botshelo Motsheja who headed home to give Botswana the lead.
Mauritius almost levelled matters just before the break after Mohammad Kadar did well to squeeze in a shot from a very tight angle for the keeper to fist away to safety.
Coming from the break, Obakeng Phuthi had the first attempt at goal after a good interchange of passes concluded with the skipper firing a low shot that had the beating of the keeper but went inches wide.
Phuthi had another glorious opportunity to extend the lead towards the end of the match after doing well to lose his marker in the box before unleashing a stunning strike that was met by an equally good save by the keeper, who worked overtime in keeping the score to a respectable 1-0 loss.