Cosafa Challenge a World Cup tune-up

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

The Cosafa Senior Challenge in Mpumalanga from July 19 to August 3 will determine their preparedness for the 2010 World Cup, said Desmond Golding, Mpumalanga deputy director-general for the 2010 office.

Mpumalanga successfully hosted the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 championship last year and the Mpumalanga Premier's International Cup last month.

Fourteen countries will take part in the Challenge.

The tournament will start with two groups of four teams each playing for a place in the quarterfinals. The matches will be played in Witbank and Secunda from July 19 to 24.

The top six teams in the region have byes to the quarterfinals where they will be joined by the two group winners.

The opening group fixtures:

Group A (Atlantic Stadium in Witbank): Saturday - Madagascar v Swaziland (3pm); Mauritius v Seychelles (5:30pm).

Monday - Madagascar v Seychelles (3pm); Mauritius v Swaziland (5:30pm).

Wednesday - Madagascar v Mauritius (3pm); Swaziland v Seychelles (5:30pm).

Group B (Lilian Ngoyi Stadium in Secunda):

Sunday - Malawi v Lesotho (3pm); Namibia v Comores (5:30pm).

Tuesday - Malawi v Comores (3pm); Namibia v Lesotho (5:30pm).

Thursday - Malawi v Namibia (3pm); Lesotho v Comores (5:30pm).

Amabinneplaas, the South African national development soccer side, will face the Group B winners in the first quarterfinal on July 26 at Atlantic Stadium at 3pm. Angola will take on the Group A champions in the other quarterfinal at 5:30pm at the same venue.

The other quarters take place at Lilian Ngoyi Stadium on July 27, where Zimbabwe face Zambia (3pm) and Botswana play Mozambique (5:30pm).

The semifinals and final will be played on the artificial pitch of Thulamahashe Stadium in Bushbuckridge on July 30 and August 3.

Media partners SuperSport will televise all the games live.