A profile of 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship hopefuls Mozambique as they seek to claim a first ever trophy win in the regional competition from July 19-29.
COSAFA Under-17 Championship wins (0): None
Last years’ finish: Group Stages
African Under-17 Championship appearances (2): 1995, 2001
Best finish: Group Stages (1995, 2001)
FIFA Under-17 World Cup appearances (0): None
2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship fixtures:
19/07: vs Zambia – 12h30 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
22/07: vs South Africa – 12h00 – Auguste Vollaire Stadium
24/07: vs Lesotho – 15h00 – Auguste Vollaire Stadium
Mozambique have been previous finalists in the COSAFA Under-17 Championship but will be seeking their first ever trophy in this age-group in Mauritius this year.
The Young Mambas came close in 1994 when they lost 2-1 to South Africa in the decider and will be hopeful of going one better in 2018 as they tap into the rich potential that exists within the country.
The side returned to the regional finals in 2017 having skipped the year before and showed themselves to be competitive but could not make it out of the group stages as they narrowly missed the knockout rounds.
They started with a 3-1 loss to South Africa, but then completed wins over Madagascar (2-0) and eventual winners Zambia (1-0), ending the pool stage on six points along with the South Africans and Zambians.
But they missed out on the semifinals with an inferior head-to-head record against the other two nations.
It showed, particularly in their win over Zambia, that they can be a real power in this age-group and with the carrot of a place in the African Under-17 Championships being dangled, they could be a team to watch.
Mozambique have twice before reached the continental finals, though the last appearance was 17 years ago in Seychelles. They lost all three games there in a tough pool that also included Nigeria, Guinea and Ethiopia.
Their other appearance was in the first championships played in 1995 in Mali where they beat the hosts 2-1, but defeats to Tunisia and Ghana meant they missed out on the semifinals on goal-difference.
The Class of 2018 will be coached by Luis Victor Fumo.