Malawi moved to the top of Group A in the men’s competition at the African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on Tuesday when they came from behind to defeat Mozambique 2-1.
The victory was the second from two games for the Young Flames, who will now be odds-on favourites to reach the semifinals from the pool.
But it also ends the participation of Mozambique, who have now completed their programme of four matches and cannot finish in the top two.
It started well for the Mozambicans though as they took a halftime lead through Dalitso Chindamba.
But goals in the second period from Jose Nguenha Junior and Shopai Macuiana turned things around for the Malawians.
Hosts Zimbabwe moved into second place in the pool when they played to a 1-1 draw with Angola.
After a goalless first half, the latter took the lead following an excellent free-kick from Cristofer Mbuini.
But a fine individual effort from Thomas Kadyaridzire, who is having a fine tournament, leveled matters for Zimbabwe, who finished the stronger of the two sides.
Malawi will have the opportunity to seal their place in the semifinals when they take on Swaziland at the Barbourfields Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off 14h00).
Swaziland lost both their opening games, and the rest of the pool will be hoping they can supply a shock to rein in the rampant Young Flames.
There are also two matches in Group B, where pool leaders Zambia take on Lesotho at Barbourfields Stadium (16h30).
A point will be enough for Zambia to seal their semifinal place and could also beneficial for Lesotho if South Africa get the better of Namibia in the other match in the pool at Luveve Stadium (16h30).
If both Zambia and South Africa win it will mean the latter, as well as Lesotho and Namibia, all finish on three points with the head-to-head record in matches involving those three teams being used to determine which side will advance to the semifinals.