East African side Tanzania are no stranger to COSAFA events at all age groups in both men’s and women’s football having been part of the rich history of the organisation down the years.
The country will be represented again at the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Championship that will be played in Nelson Mandela Bay from September 28-October 9, adding another chapter to their love affair with Southern African football.
Tanzania played at the inaugural men’s COSAFA Cup in 1997, and subsequently made appearances in 2015 and 2017. They have two previous showings at the women’s senior championship in 2011 and 2020.
Aside from that, they have claimed the COSAFA titles in both the women’s Under-17 and Under-20 age groups, showing their excellent development structures and their ability to compete in those age-groups.
Senior national team coach Bakari Shime says the COSAFA event is the perfect stage for his side against top-quality opposition and that it will present preparation opportunities for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.
The team have been drawn in Group B at the COSAFA Women’s Championship along with Botswana, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, who they meet in their opener on Sept. 29.
“I believe it will be a competitive game because we beat them in the last tournament, so they will need to take revenge whilst we will want to continue tormenting them,” Shime said.
Indeed, Tanzania did defeat Zimbabwe 1-0 in their 2020 opener, but failed to get out of the three-team Group C following a loss by the same scoreline to Botswana.
That made up for a defeat to Zimbabwe in the 2011 semifinals. They managed pool stage wins over Botswana (3-1) and Zambia (2-0) but lost to South Africa (1-0) to finish runners-up.
That set up a semifinal with then hosts Zimbabwe, where they lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw. They made up for that disappointment with a 3-0 success over Malawi in the third-place play-off.
Tanzania qualified for their only African Women’s Championship finals in 2010, when the finals were hosted in South Africa.
They lost all three pool stage games though, going down to the hosts (2-1), Mali (3-2) and Nigeria (3-0).
They will take on COSAFA side Namibia in the preliminaries for the 2022 continental finals. The winner of that tie will advance to meet either Malawi or Zambia in the next round.