COSAFA U20s – Comoros, Lesotho 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 DR Congo, will compete for the coveted prize as they seek to dislodge champions South Africa as trophy holders.

Below is the second in a series of team profiles that provides a brief synopsis of the competing teams, this week including Comoros and Lesotho.

 

COMOROS UNDER-20 PROFILE

Best finish: First Round (2007, 2013)
Last five finishes:
2007 – First Round
2013 – First Round

The Comoros Islands will be competing in the COSAFA Under-20 Championships for just the third time in their history nut were at the last competition in Lesotho, where they exited in the first round.

That does not tell the full tale of a good showing though as they secured draws against Lesotho and Mauritius, before a 3-1 loss to East African guest nation, and eventual finalists Kenya, ended their campaign.

They made their first appearance at the regional showpiece tournament in 2007 when they also exited in the first round and will be hoping to make history this time round by getting themselves through the group stages.

There is no doubt that there has been an improvement in Comoros football at all levels over the past few years and so they can quite rightly have more lofty ambitions than before.

They have been drawn in a difficult Group D at this year’s event, along with Mozambique and another East African guest nation, Rwanda.

 

LESOTHO U20 PROFILE

Best finish: Runners-up (1990, 2005)
Last five finishes:
2008 – First Round
2009 – First Round
2010 – First Round
2011 – First Round
2013 – First Round

Lesotho were the hosts of the last COSAFA Under-20 Championships in 2013, but continued a disappointing run in the competition when they exited in the first round.

That should not overshadow some excellent performances from the side in recent times, including qualifying for the African Youth Championships in 2011, just their second appearance at the tournament.

They did not disgrace themselves at the continental showpiece event in South Africa either, claiming a draw against eventual semi-finalists Mali and losing narrowly to South Africa and Egypt.

The coach from that side, Moses Maliehe, has since been elevated to the senior national team and many of those players have gone on to play full international football.

They might not have reached the semifinals since 2005, but have generally always run close to the knockout stages and will feel they have a good chance this year.

Their Group A contains hosts South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana.

The Class of 2016 will be coached by Motlalepula Mojoro and have high hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Lesotho have made the final of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships before, in 2005, when they lost 1-0 to Madagascar, the closest they have come to claiming the prestigious junior crown.

They were also runners-up in the 1990 tournament that was played in a round-robin group phase.

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