We tally up all the facts and figures around the 2021 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championships that will be played as part of the Region 5 Youth Games Maseru 2020 in Lesotho from December 1-10.
0 – No nation from the COSAFA region has managed to lift the CAF Under-17 Cup of Nations in the past. South Africa came closest when they picked up a silver medal in 2015. Angola took home bronze in 2019. South Africa and Zambia were due to take part in the 2021 event, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 – Lesotho will play host to the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship for the first time in 2021 and become the fifth different host nation overall. South Africa have staged the tournament the greatest number of times on four previous occasions, followed by Mauritius with three and Malawi with two. Namibia have also hosted once.
2 – Mozambique reached their second final in this age-group in 2020, but as on the first occasion (1-2 vs South Africa in 1994), it ended in defeat. They lost 2-0 to Zambia in the decider. They have played the most finals without lifting the trophy.
3 – Mauritius were hosts of the men’s championship between 2016 and 2018, and also staged the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship in 2019.
3 – The biggest winning margin in the final of the competition is 3-0, when Malawi beat South Africa in 2001 and Zambia defeated Mauritius in 2017.
3 – Three previous finals have gone to penalty shoot-outs, as Zimbabwe edged South Africa (2007), Namibia did likewise (2016) and South Africa finally won a shoot-out in 2020, beating Zambia.
4 – Four nations were disqualified from the competition in 2020 after a failure to adhere to eligibility guidelines – namely Comoros, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini. The competition proceeded with four teams, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.
5 – Joseph Banda (Zambia) was the top scorer in last year’s finals with five goals, one ahead of Angola’s Custódio Hequele.
7 – South Africa have reached the greatest number of finals in this age-group with seven but have only won in three of those. They beat Mozambique (1994), Eswatini (2002) and Zambia (2020), but have lost to Malawi (2001), Zimbabwe (2007), Namibia (2016) and Angola (2018).
8 – The most goals scored in a single game in last year’s championship was eight as Zambia thumped Malawi 6-2 and Angola beat the same Malawians 7-1!
9 – Zambia won all three of their pool matches in 2021 for a full haul of nine points, but lost on penalties in the final against South Africa, who had only won four points in the pool stage, but still finished second.
9 – There have been nine other tournaments played loosely under the banner of a regional Men’s Under-17 championship. South Africa have won three of these in 1994, 2002 and 2020, Malawi claimed success in 2001. Zimbabwe lifted the title in 2007, while Namibia were victorious in 2016, Zambia in 2017 and 2019, and Angola in 2018.
10 – There will be 10 teams entered into the 2021 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship, namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia. The teams will be split into two groups of five each.
14 – The COSAFA Under-17 Championship is open to all 14 of the nations that make up the Southern African regional body.
32 – There were 32 goals scored in the eight matches played at the 2019 COSAFA Under-17 Championship, an average of four per game!