Defending champions Mozambique have been drawn in Group B with Lusophone rivals Angola for the TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier that will be staged in Eswatini from October 6-16.
The competition will see the top two teams advance to the continental finals in Egypt from Feb. 18-Mar. 12, which in turn serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Indonesia later in 2023.
Also in Mozambique and Angola’s pool are Seychelles and Lesotho, with only the top team in each group advancing to the semifinals along with the best-placed runner-up.
Hosts Eswatini headline Group A and will face a mighty challenge from record 11-time winners Zambia, as well as Botswana and Mauritius.
Group C contains Namibia, South Africa, Comoros and Malawi and is also likely to be a hotly contested pool.
The competition was due to be played in December 2021 but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Only five nations have won the COSAFA Under-20 Championships previously – Zambia (11 times), South Africa (8), Zimbabwe (6), Madagascar (1) and Mozambique (1). Zimbabwe cannot compete this year as they are still under suspension by FIFA.
The first time the regional competition was staged for Under-20 teams was in 1983 – 39 years ago – and was won by Zambia.
TOTALENERGIES AFCON U20 EGYPT 2023 | COSAFA QUALIFIER DRAW