The COSAFA U17 Girls Championship, Malawi 2022 will form part of the Region 5 Games in Lilongwe from December 1-10, providing the teams involved with the chance to compete for regional glory.
We take a look at all the numbers surrounding what is ultimately a fourth staging of an Under-17 championship for girls by COSAFA.
0 – There is no formal African Women’s Under-17 Championship, merely rounds of two-legged knockout ties that decide which teams will advance to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup every two years. The next staging is set for 2024.
1 – Uganda were the inaugural winners of the COSAFA Under-17 Women’s Championship after they beat South Africa 2-1 in the decider in Mauritius in 2019. Tanzania claimed the prize in 2020.
1 – Zambia became the first Southern African side to lift the trophy when they triumphed in 2021 by beating Botswana 4-0 in the final.
1 – Malawi will host the tournament for the first time. Mauritius (2019), South Africa (2020) and Lesotho (2021) have been the other three hosts.
1 – South Africa captain Jessica Wade was named the inaugural Player of the Tournament in the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship. Tisilile Lungu of Zambia won the Player of the Tournament prize in 2020, while her compatriot Pumulo Lubasi claimed the prize in 2021.
2 – Chitete Munsaka from Zambia won the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper in both 2020 and 2021!
2 – Uganda were the second guest nation to win a COSAFA tournament in 2019 after Tanzania broke the mould by claiming the Women’s Under-20 Championship just a few months before in Nelson Mandela Bay. Since then, Tanzania have also won the COSAFA senior women and Under-17 titles, and Senegal have won the Beach Soccer championship.
2 – South Africa and Zambia are the only two COSAFA nations to have appeared at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. South Africa managed the feat in 2010 and 2018, while Zambia were there in 2014.
3 – The COSAFA Under-17 Championships are one of four women’s events that can be scheduled in a ‘normal’ year, along with the COSAFA Women’s Championship, COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship and the COSAFA Women’s Champions League.
3 – Zambia won all three of their games in last year’s competition, scoring nine goals in the process and conceding only once. They will be among the favourites again.
4 – Only four nations from the COSAFA region have entered the qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup before – Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia. With the establishment of the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship, that number should rise.
5 – The five competing teams are in a single round-robin group, with the winner being the team that gains the most points through the campaign. The competing teams are Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa and defending champions Zambia.
10 – Aisha Masaka of Tanzania was the leading scorer in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship with 10 goals. She has since been elevated to the senior women’s team and scored at the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Championship!
14 – The COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship is open to all 14 of the nations that make up the Southern African regional body, while Reunion, as an associate member, may also enter tournaments.
18 – Juliet Nalukenge from champions Uganda finished as the leading scorer in the 2019 championship with 18 goals in the five matches she played. It remains the biggest haul in the competition’s history.
28 – The number of goals scored by South Africa as they overwhelmed Seychelles in their Group B clash in 2019. It was the biggest score in an international match in Africa, the biggest winning margin in a women’s competitive international and the largest margin of victory by any South African team.
158 – There were a massive 158 goals scored in the 16 games in the championship in 2019, an average of almost 10 per match!