The COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships have been played annually over the last four years, which is enough time to give us a sizeable sample of who have been the top performing teams in the competition since 2016.
The latest instalment of the regional championship will be staged in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay from December 3-13, where 11 teams will battle it out for the coveted trophy.
But more than that, they will also hope to be in the final, with those two sides earning their place at the 2021 CAF Africa Cup of Nations that is scheduled for Mauritania, with the competition a zonal qualifier this year.
Since 2016, there have been two trophy wins each for South Africa and Zambia, so it is not surprising then to see them top of the ‘table’ for results in this time.
South Africa have 14 wins to 13 for Zambia, but have played a game more, while they also lead the way on goals scored with 47, comfortably the most in the competition.
Zambia are next with 38 goals and Angola 32, the only teams to have passed the 30-mark.
South Africa have the highest win percentage at 73.68, with Zambia (72.22) next and Angola (44.44) third of teams who have played more than one tournament. Zimbabwe (40.00) are in fourth.
Teams who will want to work on this statistic include Malawi (16.67), Mauritius (18.18), Lesotho (21.43) and Mozambique (25.00).
South Africa have only lost two matches in the competition since 2016, last year’s final when they were thumped 3-0 by Zambia, and the 2016 decider when they lost 2-1 to the same opposition.
Overall, there have been 231 goals scored in the 87 matches played, a healthy average of 2.66 goals per game.
The 11 sides who will contest the 2020 competition are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In all there have been 18 different competitors in the last four years, including all 14 members of COSAFA, as well as guest nations Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda and Sudan.
COMBINED TEAM RECORDS FROM THE LAST FOUR COSAFA UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The table is calculated on the number of wins, then the number of draws and finally goal-difference.