Group C at the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, is an interesting mix of teams, including the two island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius, North African guest nation Sudan and regional heavyweights Angola.
With only one team to advance from the pool into the semifinals, the likely best bets would be the latter two, but both island sides have shown in the past that they have the potential to surprise.
Angola are bringing much the same squad as they used in the senior COSAFA Castle Cup that was played in Namibia in June and that experience, albeit a first round exit, will be invaluable to the team.
That side was also led by Coach Samy Matias, who will be desperate to guide the team to the trophy with Angola having surprisingly never won the Southern African Under-20 Championship before, despite regular success in the senior tournament.
This despite the fact they were finalists three years in a row between 2000 and 2002, but lost to Zimbabwe (twice) and South Africa.
Sudan have qualified for the 2017 African Youth Championships in Zambia and so will be using this tournament as a build-up to that event.
They have been invited as a replacement for Namibia, who pulled out due to financial constraints.
Angola and Sudan will meet in their potentially vital pool opener at the Mogwase Stadium on December 8, with the winner there likely to be immediately instilled as pool favourite.
Angola then take on Seychelles two days later, before a final pool game against Mauritius on December 14, though that match is at the Moruleng Stadium.
Sudan will take on the same two opponents in reverse order on the same days, all at the Mogwase Stadium.
Group C Fixtures
08/12 – 14h00: Seychelles vs Mauritius – Mogwase Stadium
08/12 – 17h00: Angola vs Sudan – Mogwase Stadium
10/12 – 11h00: Angola vs Seychelles – Mogwase Stadium
10/12 – 14h30: Sudan vs Mauritius – Mogwase Stadium
12/12 – 14h00: Sudan vs Seychelles – Mogwase Stadium
12/12 – 14h00: Mauritius vs Angola – Moruleng Stadium