COSAFA teams shine in 2026 World Cup qualifiers

There were some excellent performances among the COSAFA sides competing in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers during this FIFA International window as they dream of a ticket to the finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

We round up the results from the two games played with only the top team in each pool guaranteed a place at the World Cup.

Angola: Angola remain unbeaten in the qualifiers with a win and three draws from their four games to date, and are two points behind Group D leaders Cameroon. They drew 1-1 with the Indomitable Lions on Tuesday, having beaten Eswatini 1-0 in their previous match. Both of those were played at home.

Botswana: Botswana picked up a 3-1 win against Somalia on Monday to stay in the hunt in Group G. That followed a 1-0 loss in Uganda. The Zebras are three points behind leaders Algeria and Mozambique with six games left to play, so anything is possible.

Comoros: The Comoros are frontrunners in Group I, leading second-placed Ghana on goal-difference with nine points from a possible 12. They lost 2-1 against Madagascar in neutral Johannesburg, but then claimed a 2-0 victory against Chad in Morocco. It is a fibe start to the campaign.

Eswatini: It has been a rough start to the Group D qualifiers for Eswatini, who have endured four defeats in a row. They lost to Angola (0-1) and Mauritius (1-2), both away from home, in their two matches in this window.

Lesotho: Likuena claimed an excellent 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in neutral Johannesburg but were then beaten 1-0 by Rwanda in Durban in their second fixture, where they might have hoped to collect more points. They are only two points off the leaders in Group C though and very much still in the hunt.

Madagascar: The Malagasy will be very pleased with their two games, claiming a 2-1 success against Comoros in Johannesburg and then holding pool favourites Mali to a 0-0 draw in the same city. They are only two points behind Group I leaders Comoros and Ghana.

Malawi: A mixed bag for Malawi in this window as they defeated Sao Tome e Principe 3-1 but then lost 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea. They have six points from their four games, four points behind leaders Tunisia in Group H.

Mauritius: Mauritius picked up their first win of the qualifiers when they defeated Eswatini 2-1 and have taken four points from a possible 12 so far. They also lost 1-2 to Libya in this window, a close result. Their win over Eswatini was a first in World Cup qualifiers since they beat Uganda 3-1 in 2003.

Mozambique: The Mambas have won three of their four qualifiers and claimed back-to-back successes in this window to leave them level on points with Group G leaders Algeria. They defeated Somalia 3-1 and then claimed a 1-0 success against Guinea in neutral Morocco, an excellent result. But just three points separate the top five teams in this pool.

Namibia: A pair of solid draws have left Namibia very much in the hunt in Group H and they are unbeaten after four games in the pool, lying two points behind leaders Tunisia. They played to a 1-1 draw with Liberia and then held Tunisia to a goalless stalemate, with both those matches played in neutral Johannesburg. They have only conceded once in their four qualifiers.

Seychelles: It is backs to the wall for Seychelles as they have lost all four Group F qualifiers to date. The islanders went down 1-5 away to Gambia and 1-3 at home to Burundi in this window.

South Africa: Bafana Bafana will be satisfied with their four points from two games, a 1-1 draw in Nigeria and a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe at home. They are level on points at the top of their Group C with Rwanda and Benin.

Zambia: Chipolopolo have left themselves with some work to do in the qualifiers after three defeats in a row leave them trailing pool leaders Morocco by six points, with the latter having a game in hand. They lost 1-2 away in Morocco and were then beaten 1-0 by Tanzania at home in this window.

Zimbabwe: A difficult couple of games for the Warriors as they lost to Lesotho (0-2) and South Africa (1-3). Their young team now has a mountain to climb in the remaining qualifiers as they have two points in Group C, five behind the leaders.