A profile of 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship hopefuls Namibia as they seek to repeat their 2016 victory in the competition in Mauritius from July 19-29.
COSAFA Under-17 Championship wins (1): 2016
Last years’ finish: Did not enter
African Under-17 Championship appearances (0): None
FIFA Under-17 World Cup appearances (0): None
2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship fixtures:
19/07: vs Seychelles – 10h00 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
21/07: vs Mauritius – 15h00 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
24/07: vs Botswana – 12h00 – Auguste Vollaire Stadium
Namibia were winners of the COSAFA Under-17 Championship in 2016, but are returning to the regional showpiece event this year after skipping the defence of their title in 2017.
The team’s victory two years ago was a great day for Namibian football and showed the rich potential for the game in the country.
After beating hosts Mauritius 3-1 in their pool opener, they lost 4-0 to South Africa in the second game.
However, passage to the semifinals was assured after they stormed to a 4-1 success over Seychelles in their final pool match.
That had set up a daunting knockout meeting with Zambia, but the latter were disqualified after the first phase for fielding two overage players in their team.
It meant Namibia would face Malawi in the semifinals and after a 1-1 draw, they held their nerve to triumph 6-5 in the penalty shoot-out.
It would be good preparation for the final against South Africa as the teams again played to a 1-1 draw, with Namibia this time edging the penalty shoot-out 3-1 to claim their first ever continental title.
Unlike this year’s COSAFA Under-17 Championship, that tournament was not a qualifier for the African Under-17 finals though and they have still to make an appearance in the continental competition, something which they can strive for in 2018.
The team has also yet to feature at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.