Zimbabwe will reach a special milestone at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup when they become the first country to play 50 matches in the regional championship.
The Warriors’ second Group B clash against Madagascar at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on June 28 will see them bring up a half-century of games, to be matched later in the competition by Zambia.
The Zambians are actually one match ahead of Zimbabwe on 49 already, but they only enter this year’s tournament at the quarterfinal stage when they take on Botswana on July 1.
Zimbabwe also lead the way in terms of number of wins with 31 from their 48 matches to date, six more than Zambia, who have the next highest (25).
And the Warriors, who along with Zambia and South Africa have a joint-record four COSAFA Castle Cup title wins to their name, have also been the most prolific side in terms of goals scored with 79.
Zimbabwe, not surprisingly, also lead on the goals scored per game statistics among teams that have played 10 or more games with 1.65, followed by Zambia (1.41) and 2015 champions Namibia (1.39).
But it is Zambia who have traditionally had the best defence with only 0.59 goals conceded per game, followed by South Africa (0.61) and Zimbabwe (0.71).
This is an area where Namibia have been let down in the past as their 1.11 goals conceded per game is only the sixth best with Angola (0.92) and Botswana (1.09) also boasting better records.
Zimbabwe have the best win ratio among teams that have played 10 games or more as they have claimed success in 65% of their games, followed by South Africa (53%) and Zambia (51%).
The worst win ratio is Seychelles, who have won just 5% of their games, followed by Botswana (18%) and Mauritius (23%).
South Africa have lost the fewest matches among teams that have played 10 games or more, with just six defeats in 38 games, followed by Zimbabwe and Zambia, who have only seven losses each.
In all there have been 18 nations to take part in the COSAFA Castle Cup since the first tournament 20 years ago in 1997.
All 14 COSAFA nations have been represented, along with guest nations Tanzania (who compete again in 2017), Ghana, Kenya and DR Congo.
This year’s competition will be staged in South Africa’s North West province from June 25-July 9.
COSAFA CASTLE CUP ALL-TIME TABLE