Zambia completed an unprecedented hat-trick when they claimed the COSAFA Under-20 Championship last weekend, and now hold the honours in all the region’s men’s competitions, the first time ever this has been achieved.
The regional powerhouses won the COSAFA Cup, Under-20 and Under-17 competitions for a bumper year that sounds a warning of their potential for not only the current senior side, but also the years to come.
The country also had a great year in the three women’s competitions, and were certainly the stand-out performers in Southern Africa.
Here is a low-down of their 2019 in the various regional competitions.
2019 COSAFA CUP
The Zambia senior men’s side retained the COSAFA Cup title for the first time since 2013 with a 1-0 victory over Botswana in the final in Durban. They were full value for their tournament success!
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Zambia could not quite do the ‘Double’ by claiming the women’s senior challenge as well, but came unstuck against powerhouse South Africa in the final to go home with the silver medal. The decider was a tight game too with the home side triumphing 1-0.
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Agonisingly close for Zambia again as they picked up the silver medal in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship that ran concurrently with the senior championship. They went down 2-1 to East African guest nation Tanzania in the final, conceding the decisive goal late on.
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Finish: Third Place
Zambia took home the bronze medal in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that was played in Mauritius, trouncing Botswana 3-0 in the third-place play-off. They were edged 2-1 in a tight semifinal by South Africa, as the trophy was eventually lifted by East African guest nation Uganda.
2019 COSAFA MEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Zambia picked up the gold medal with a deserved 2-0 victory over Mozambique as they proved they were the best team in the competition once again, regaining the title they last lifted in 2017. The tournament was played in Malawi and included a 7-0 victory for Zambia over regional rivals South Africa.
2019 COSAFA MEN’S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Coach Oswald Mutapa had led the men’s Under-17 side to regional glory and followed up with success with the Under-20s, the first coach to claim two age-group competitions in a single year. Zambia defeated South Africa 3-0 in Lusaka in the decider to regain the trophy they had last won in 2016.