COSAFA sides in Nations Cup qualifying

A number of COSAFA sides will be in action when the final round of 2017 African Nations Cup qualification matches is played this week … and Swaziland still in with a chance of booking their spot.

Zimbabwe have already secured a place in Gabon next year after an excellent qualification campaign, but they could be joined by the Swazis for the first time in their history.

Swaziland must defeat fellow COSAFA side Malawi away from home on Sunday and hope other results go their way if they are finish as one of the best runners-up.

It is a long-shot given they have a -2 goal-difference, which could count heavily against them in the final reckoning with only two sides claiming a best runners-up spot.

For the rest of the COSAFA sides, this week’s fixtures remain an exercise in fine-tuning their play more than anything else.

In Group B, Angola and Madagascar clash in Luanda on Saturday, while Botswana are away at Burkina Faso in Group D on Sunday. Also in that pool, Comoros Islands travel to Uganda on the same day.

Zambia will host Kenya in Ndola in Group E, while COSAFA rivals Mozambique and Mauritius clash in Group H with their fixture in Maputo on Saturday.

Group J sees Ethiopia host Seychelles on Friday, while two days later Lesotho travel to north Africa to face top-ranked Algeria in what will be a stern test for them.

Namibia can finish their campaign off on a high if they get a away win in Senegal in Group K on Saturday, while Zimbabwe are away at Guinea in Group L on Sunday in what is a pre-finals warm-up for them.

Finally, South Africa close their Group M campaign with a home meeting against Mauritania in Mbombela on Friday night.