The 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships is to be staged in Kitwe, Zambia from December 6-16 as the top young talent in the region gathers to showcase their rich potential.
It will be a celebration of the new up-and-coming stars in Southern Africa and a chance for them to catch the eye with a host of scouts set to keep an eagle eye on proceedings.
Here are some numbers around the competition that has a rich 34-year history.
0 – The only final to finish goalless was in 2001 when Zambia needed a penalty shoot-out to beat Angola 5-3 on spot-kicks. That remains the only final to go to a shoot-out.
1 – Zambia were the top side in 2016 as they defeated South Africa 2-1 in the final.
2 – The number of host venues at the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships – the Nkana and Arthur Davis Stadia in Kitwe.
2 – In 2016 there were two guest nations that took part, DR Congo and Sudan.
3 – Central African guest nation DR Congo picked up the bronze medal for third place as they defeated Angola 4-3 on penalties after playing to a 1-1 draw.
3 – Zambia have won three of the last four COSAFA Under-20 Championships played, with only South Africa breaking their run in 2013.
3 – Angola lost three finals in a row between 2000 and 2002. They made the deciding match in 2011 but lost again. They have yet to win the regional title.
4 – Only four nations have won the COSAFA Under-20 Championships – Zambia (11 times), Zimbabwe (6), South Africa (5) and Madagascar (1).
4 – Zambia hold the record for the most title wins in a row, four, between 1993 and 1999.
5 – The number of goals scored by last year’s top marksman, Luther Singh of South Africa.
6 – This year’s COSAFA Under-20 Championships will kick-off on December 6, with the final to be staged 10 days later on the 16th.
8 – South Africa claimed the biggest win of the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships when they thumped Lesotho 8-0. It was simply a bad day in the office for Lesotho, who went on to beat Botswana and Swaziland in their next two games, conceding just a single goal in the process!
9 – The most number of goals scored in a single final – South Africa defeated Zambia 5-4 in 2004!
11 – The number of titles won by Zambia, the most successful nation in the history of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships. And they will be the defending champions on home soil this year!
11 – The number of years in a row that South Africa hosted the event between 1999 and 2009.
14 – The number of teams who are likely to compete in this year’s COSAFA Under-20 Championships.
16 – The number of goals scored by South Africa in their five matches in 2016, one more than eventual champions Zambia.
24 – The number of matches that will be played at this year’s COSAFA Under-20 Championships.
63 – The number of goals scored in the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, an average of 2.62 per game!
1983 – The first time a regional competition was staged for junior teams. It was won by Zambia.
2000 – The first time a nation other than Zambia or Zimbabwe lifted the trophy – South Africa claimed the prize in 2000.
2005 – Madagascar became just the fourth country to lift the trophy after Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.