Zimbabwe to face Senegal in 2021 Cosafa Cup

17 Jun, 2021 - 16:06 0 Views
Zimbabwe to face Senegal in 2021 Cosafa Cup

The Sunday News

Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

SIX-TIME Cosafa Cup winners Zimbabwe have been drawn alongside west African guest nation Senegal in the group stages of the historic 20th edition of this year’s tournament that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa from July 7-18.

The draw was conducted in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday.

It is an appetising clash that will ignite the imagination in what is arguably a Group of Death that also includes Mozambique and 2015 Cosafa Cup winners Namibia.

Hosts South Africa also have an intriguing group that includes neighbours Lesotho, Botswana and Eswatini. Bafana Bafana and Botswana have long been foes in this regional competition.

Defending champions Zambia will face Malawi as well as island nations of Madagascar and Comoros in their first-round pool.

Only the top team in each group and the best placed runner-up will advance to the semifinals in what is a change in formation for the tournament this year.

That means each side is guaranteed three games up to a maximum of five, which will provide vital preparation for those national teams involved in 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers later this year.

After not being held last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cosafa Cup is making a comeback this year. It will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time, which has been a familiar home for other Cosafa competitions in recent years.

The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy.

Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one). The Warriors last won the Cosafa Cup in 2018 when they defeated Zambia 4-2 after extra time in the final played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. In 2019, the Warriors finished third with a 5-4 on penalties triumph over Lesotho.



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