Namibia will be seeking a first-ever Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships title when they take on Zambia in the final of the 2010 tournament in Botswana on Sunday (kick-off 15h00).
The match at the University of Botswana stadium in Gaborone sees the Young Brave Warriors take on the defending champions, and will perhaps provide a continuation of their fairytale finals that has seen them exceed all expectations to reach the decider.
Indeed, Namibia conceded 13 goals in losing their two group games in 2009, but on the back of some outstanding displays from skipper Sydney Uri-Khob, arguably the Player of the Tournament so far, they stand on the brink of history.
Namibia opened their campaign by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 with 2011 African Youth Championships qualifiers Lesotho, and then beat an inexperienced South African side 2-0 to top Group B.
That set up a semifinal meeting with a very useful Madagascar side on Friday, but the Namibians cruised in the end, recording a 3-0 win. Uri-Khob cemented his place at the top of the goalscorers charts with his fourth goal of the finals and there is no doubt he will be the dangerman for Zambia on Sunday.
The Young Chipolopolo came into the 2010 Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships with a much-changed side from the one that claimed the trophy in South Africa 12 months ago, as just four players remained from that triumph.
After a sticky start against Angola when they drew 2-2, the side produced an accomplished display to beat Mauritius 2-0 in their second Group C encounter and top the pool.
That meant they faced Zimbabwe in the semifinals on Friday, and despite riding their luck at times, edged past the Young Warriors with a 1-0 victory, Chakwa Lungu providing the vital strike.
The Zambians, given their past success in this tournament, will enter the final as favourites, but it is hard to write-off this Namibian team, whose confidence is up and who will perhaps feel they are destined for the title.
But before all that, Zimbabwe and Madagascar will play at the University of Botswana stadium for third-place (kick-off 11h00).
It is a chance to leave the tournament with a medal at least, after the disappointment of missing out on the final match.
Zimbabwe will be overwhelming favourites going into the game and might still be wondering how they lost their semi to Zambia, but the Malagasy have been excellent in matches during the 2010 Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships and will certainly provide a stern test.-COSAFA