We tally up all the facts and figures around the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championships that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from November 19-30.
0 – No nation from the COSAFA region has managed to lift the African Under-17 Championship in the past. South Africa came closest when they picked up a silver medal in 2015. Angola took home bronze in 2019.
1 – Malawi played host to the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship for the first time in 2019 and become the fourth host nation overall. South Africa and Mauritius (three each) have staged the tournament the greatest number of times before, while Namibia have hosted once. South Africa will move to the top of the pile this year.
1 – There will be just one venue used for the championships, the Gelvandale Stadium, which will host all games.
2 – The championships serve as zonal qualifiers for the 2021 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, with the two finalists advancing to the continental competition.
2 – Mozambique reached their second final in this age-group last year, but as on the first occasion (1-2 vs South Africa in 1994), it ended in defeat. They lost 2-0 to Zambia in the decider.
3 – Mauritius were hosts of the men’s championship between 2016 and 2018, and also staged the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship last year.
5 – Simon Cipriano (Mozambique), Valdemiro Domingos (Angola) and Rickson Ng’ambi (Zambia) were the joint top-scorers at last year’s finals with five goals each.
6 – South Africa have reached the greatest number of finals in this age-group with six, but have only won in two of those. They were beaten 1-0 by Angola in their last trip to the decider in 2018.
7 – The most goals scored in a single game in last year’s championship was seven as Zambia thumped old foes South Africa 7-0!
8 – There have been eight other tournaments played loosely under the banner of a regional Men’s Under-17 championship. South Africa have won two of these in 1994 and 2002, Malawi claimed success in 2001. Zimbabwe lifted the title in 2007, while Namibia were victorious in 2016, Zambia in 2017 and 2019, and Angola in 2018.
9 – There will be nine teams entered into the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship, namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Malawi, last year’s runners-up Mozambique, South Africa, defending champions Zambia and Zimbabwe.
13 – The 2020 COSAFA Under-17 Championship features 13 matches, nine in the first round group stage, two semifinals, a third-place play-off and a final.
14 – The COSAFA Under-17 Championship is open to all 14 of the nations that make up the Southern African regional body.
50 – There were 50 goals scored in the 16 matches played at the 2019 COSAFA Under-17 Championship, an average of more than three per game!