Written by JOE CHIBEWA
Botswana beat Malawi Under-17 national soccer team 4-2 on post match penalties on Friday evening in Gaborone to boot them out of CAF Youth Championship in the preliminary round. The lads played in the absence coach John Kaputa as he was undergoing an operation on his broken ankle back home after he was accidentally tackled by one of his own charges during training back home.
The Junior Flames lost 2-1 and the match had to be decided on penalties as the tie ended 3-all on aggregate as the Malawians also won by the same margin in the first leg in Lilongwe a fortnight ago. Botswana were leading 2-0 before Brian Phiri pulled one back to force the match into penalties.
Phiri, who scored a brace in the first leg, unfortunately missed from the spot. He was followed by Thokozani Harrison, while Boston Kabango and Gibson Kaluwa converted their spot kicks but that could not save the situation as the young Batswana converted all their four penalties to qualify to the next round.
In 2009 the Malawi Under-17 made it to the finals of the competition in Algiers, Algeria where they finished on position four. The junior Flames were expected home on Saturday through the Kamuzu International Airport.