Amajita handed tough 2017 Cosafa Under-20 Championships draw

Wiseman Meyiwa.
Wiseman Meyiwa.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

South Africa have been handed a difficult draw for the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships after being pitted in Group B along with North African guest nation Egypt‚ Mozambique and Mauritius.

The tournament will be hosted in Kitwe‚ Zambia‚ from December 6-16 when South Africa will seek to improve on their silver medal from the tournament they hosted in 2016.

With only the top team in the pool and the best-placed runner-up to advance to the semifinals‚ the Egyptians‚ in particular‚ will present a massive stumbling block for coach Thabo Senong’s side.

South Africa start their campaign against Mozambique on December 7‚ before taking on Mauritius three days later.

They will then face a potential pool decider against the Egyptians on December 12.

Egypt have been a power on the continent at Under-20 level in the past‚ and have won the continental crown on four previous occasions‚ most recently in 2013.

They have also been to eight FIFA Under-20 World Cups‚ with their best finish in 2001 when they picked up the bronze medal.

SAFA will likely look to a fresh band of Under-20 stars for the tournament with the likes of Luther Singh‚ Wiseman Meyiwa‚ Reeve Frosler‚ Tercious Malepe‚ Sibongakonke Mbatha‚ Kobamelo Kodisang and Itumeleng Shopang likely not eligible‚ either because they are no longer in the age-bracket or have club commitments.

Hosts‚ holders and African champions Zambia are in Group A along with Swaziland‚ East African guest nation Uganda and Malawi‚ while Group C contains Angola‚ Lesotho‚ Namibia and Zimbabwe.

If South Africa advance to the semifinals they will face the best runner-up from one of the pools.

South Africa are five-time winners of the regional tournament‚ last lifting the trophy in 2013 under then coach Shakes Mashaba.

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