COSAFA U20s – Angola, Botswana Team Profiles

The 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, will be staged in South Africa’s North West province from December 7-16.

The Southern African region’s top sides, including guest nation Rwanda, will compete for the coveted prize as they seek to dislodge champions South Africa as trophy holders.

Below are the first in a series of team profiles that provides a brief synopsis of the competing teams, starting with Angola and Botswana.

Coach: Samy Matias
Best finish: Finalists (2000, 2001, 2002, 2011)
Last five finishes:
2008 – Third place
2009 – First Round
2010 – First Round
2011 – Finalists
2013 – Third place

Angola will be hoping to make history when they compete at the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships.

The country have never tasted success in the junior version of the regional championship, this despite some excellent success in the COSAFA Castle Cup.

Angola have always be known as a fine producer of young talent, many of whom make their way to Portugal and other parts of Europe.

They came close in the 2011 installment of the competition, losing in the final to Zambia 2-1. They were also finalists three years in a row between 2000 and 2002, but lost to Zimbabwe (twice) and South Africa.

The Angolans have been drawn in Group C of this year’s competition along with Namibia and the island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius.

They will be led by Coach Samy Matias, who was in charge of the side that competed at the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup senior tournament in Namibia.

That side was for all intents and purposes an Under-20 selection and will have benefitted greatly from the experience of competing against full international outfits.

They will be able to bring that experience into the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, where they should be considered among the favourites.


BOTSWANA U-20 PROFILE                                  

Coach: George Mogopodi
Best finish: Third place (2009, 2011)
Last five finishes:
2008 – First Round
2009 – Third place
2010 – First Round
2011 – Third place
2013 – First Round

Having finished third in the last COSAFA Under-20 Championships on home soil in 2011, Botswana were unable to build on that success in Lesotho two years as they exited in the first round.

This team is being closely watched by Botswana senior team coach Peter Butler, who is looking for fresh players to compliment his Zebras squad that finished as runners-up in the COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia in June.

Aside from their bronze in 2011, the Young Zebras also claimed third in 2009 when after losing to South Africa in the semifinals, they beat Madagascar on penalties.

The team have been drawn in Group A at this year’s tournament along with hosts South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

The team will be coach by George Mogopodi, who has recent experience in the Botswana Premier League where he was both an assistant and caretaker coach earlier this year.

Mogopodi has also previously coached at local side Santos, where he helped to develop players like current Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele.