The pool stages of the 2022 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that will be staged as part of the Region 5 Games Lilongwe 2022 from December 1-11 will feature some massive clashes as the six teams battle it out for semifinal places. Here is a quick look at the fixtures.
ZAMBIA VS BOTSWANA
December 1 – 12h00
A repeat of last year’s final in Maseru that was won 4-0 by Zambia, who breezed to the gold medal. Botswana will want to show they learnt something from that defeat, but while there will be changes in the squads 12 months on, Zambia remain favourites to get their campaign off to a winning start.
MALAWI VS SOUTH AFRICA
December 1 – 15h30
Malawi make their debut at this level in COSAFA competition and will have a tough entry against the always competitive South Africans. The latter have not yet lifted this trophy and will be desperate to do so in 2022, while Malawi will want to put on a good show for their own fans. This is a classic Southern African battle.
COMOROS VS BOTSWANA
December 3 – 10h00
A morning clash for these two sides as Botswana play their second game in three days and Comoros make an entry into the competition for the first time since 2019. The islanders will be an unknown quantity with a completely new team and will want to make a positive start with the Zambians to come.
MAURITIUS VS SOUTH AFRICA
December 3 – 13h00
Mauritius are also back in the competition for the first time since they hosted in 2019, while South Africa will know they could likely book a semifinal place with a win in this game. The battles are so difficult to call with little formbook to go on, but that also makes them that more intriguing.
ZAMBIA VS COMOROS
December 5 – 10h00
Zambia play their second game to complete Group B, after which we will have our semifinalists from this pool. It looks a one-sided affair, but as we have seen in past competitions, you must pitch up on the day and complete the job, and nothing can be taken for granted.
MALAWI VS MAURITIUS
December 5 – 13h00
The home nation will have had a long wait for their second match and be eager to push on to the next stage, while for Mauritius it is a second game in quick succession. Just how the physical demands of that plays out remains to be seen. This is a first meeting between the teams at this level.