Mozambique back to defend U20 title in Eswatini

Mozambique finally claimed their maiden COSAFA Under-20 title when they won the last edition in Nelson Mandela Bay, having previously suffered disappointment when they were beaten finalists in 2008.

They finished top of their pool last year, beating Lesotho (1-0) and Zimbabwe (2-0), before a 0-0 draw with South Africa sealed the number one position.

It was the same result in the semifinals against powerhouse Zambia, but the Young Mambas triumphed 5-4 on penalties.

It set up a decider against Namibia and Mozambique triumphed 1-0 thanks to a now famous goal from Augusto, which sealed their first ever trophy at any level in COSAFA.

It was a triumph for coach Dario Monteiro, who returns to the competition two years on to try and retain the title, or at the very least qualify the team for the TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023.

In order to do that, they must reach the final in Eswatini and may well be confident of getting out of their pool.
They will open their Group B campaign against Seychelles on October 8, before a potentially crucial clash with Angola in a Lusophone derby two days later.

They complete their pool stage campaign on October 12 when they take on Lesotho, with the top team in each pool and the best-placed runner-up to advance to the semifinals.

Mozambique lost to hosts South Africa in the final in 2008, but that is now but a distant memory for the side after their triumph last year.

They did narrowly miss out on the semifinals in Botswana in 2011, the hosts just pipping them on goal-difference in a three-team pool that also included Eswatini.

And in 2016 they finished their three-team pool with two draws and so lost out to Central African guest nation DR Congo for a place in the knockout stages.

In 2017 they returned home early with a single win and two defeats, though they were in a tough pool with eventual champions South Africa and North African guest nation Egypt.

They were unbeaten in 2018 with a victory over DR Congo, and draws with Malawi and Zambia, but there five points were not enough to put them into the next round.

They managed a single win over Seychelles (3-2) in 2019, to go with losses to Eswatini (2-0) and Angola (1-0).

Mozambique reached the quarterfinals of the African Under-20 Championship in 1989, but have not played in the finals competition since.

MOZAMBIQUE FINISHES IN LAST 23 YEARS
1999 – Group stages
2000 – Quarterfinals
2001 – Quarterfinals
2002 – Quarterfinals
2003 – Group stages
2004 – Group stages
2005 – Group stages
2006 – Group stages
2007 – Group stages
2008 – Runners-up
2009 – Group stages
2010 – Group stages
2011 – Group stages
2013 – Group stages
2016 – Group stages
2017 – Group stages
2018 – Group stages
2019 – Group stages
2020 – Winners