Tanzania will be welcome guests at both the COSAFA Women’s Senior Championship and the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that will be held concurrently in Nelson Mandela Bay next month.
It is a chance for Tanzania to hold all three COSAFA women’s trophies at the same time, after their Under-20 side triumphed in that age group in the tournament that was also staged at the same venue in 2019.
On that occasion that beat Zambia 2-1 in the final and will have given plenty of hope to the senior side and Under-17 girls that they can follow suit.
The East African nation will be one of six sides in the Under-17 competition this year, which is to be staged from November 5-13. The others are hosts South Africa, Botswana, Comoros, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The squad has been in camp in Dar es Salaam under the watchful eye of coach Bakari Shime, where they have been working hard in preparation for the tournament.
Shime will be keen to make up for the disappointment of the aside’s exit from the 2020 African Under-17 Women’s World Cup qualifying competition in March, when they went down 6-2 on aggregate to the powerful Ugandan side.
The Ugandans are the reigning COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship holders after their win in Mauritius last year, but lost the first leg to the Tanzanians 2-1, which shows the quality of Shime’s side.
They could not hold their hosts in the return leg though as Uganda ran out 5-0 winners.
Tanzania had defeated Burundi 6-1 on aggregate in the round before, with ever-dangerous Aisha Masaka grabbing a hat-trick in the first leg.
She also got both goals against Uganda and will be a real threat in Nelson Mandela Bay. Other stars of the side include Protasia Mbunda and Joyce Meshack.
It was the first time Tanzania had entered the World Cup qualifiers and having shown plenty of promise, will be eager to build on that performance.
Helping them will be their entry into the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship, where they will be pitted against some of the leading teams in this age-group on the continent.
The draw for the championships are scheduled to take place Thursday, October 22, at 10h00 (08h00 GMT) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and will be streamed live on COSAFA.TV. Media are welcome to attend, though strict COVID-19 protocols will apply, which include mandatory mask wearing.
The teams will be split into two pools each containing three sides, who will play one-another on a round-robin basis. The top two sides in each pool will advance to the semifinals.