The 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals kicks-off in Algeria on January 13 having been postponed by a year, and there will be three sides from the COSAFA region hoping to make their mark.
Here is a quick rundown of who they are.
Angola have a strong history in the CHAN having been runners-up in 2011, when they lost to Tunisia in the final that was played in Sudan.
Since then they have a group stage finish in 2016 and a quarterfinal place in 2018, and now return to the competition having missed the last finals in 2020.
Only Zimbabwe (five times) have appeared in more CHAN finals than Angola, and there will be quiet confidence that they can go all the way this year.
They qualified with a 3-0 aggregate win over Mauritius in the first round and then thumped South Africa 6-1 to book their spot.
They are in a three-team group with Mali and Mauritania, where only the top team advances.
16/01 vs Mali – Miloud Hadefi Stadium, Oran
20/01 vs Mauritania – Miloud Hadefi Stadium, Oran
Madagascar will make their debut at the CHAN tournament after qualifying for the first time this year.
They defeated Seychelles (4-0 on aggregate) and Botswana (3-1) on their way to the finals as they hope to highlight the growing strength of their local league.
The side is led by coach Romuald Rakotondrabe, who had domestic success with AS Adema, but is relatively new to international football.
He has a huge task in front of him with the Malagasy having been drawn in a tough pool that includes Morocco, Sudan and Ghana. All three will have eyes on the main prize.
15/01 vs Ghana – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine
19/01 vs Morocco – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine
23/01 vs Sudan – Miloud Hadefi Stadium, Oran
Mozambique are back for a second CHAN finals having debuted in in 2014, when they did not make it out the pool stages.
They had to do it the hard way to qualify, defeating powerhouse Zambia, and then taking on the equally tricky Malawi in the following round. They came through that tie on the away goals rule.
The side will be coached by Chiquinho Conde, who took over the reins of the team last year from Horacio Goncalves. Conde appeared in three Africa Cup of Nations finals as a player in the 1980s and 90s.
They have a tough three-team group this year as they face hosts Algeria, Libya and Ethiopia, who are all expected to be contenders. The top two in the pool advance.
14/01 vs Ethiopia – Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers
17/01 vs Libya – Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers
21/01 vs Algeria – Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers