The Girls’ football competition at the Region 5 Games Maseru 2020 is sure to be hotly contested between the five competing sides, who will play a truncated first round that sees them square off against two opponents.
The team that finishes top of the mini pool will play the side in fourth in the semifinals, while second will take on third.
Here is a brief look at the history or current context of the first round matches.
ZAMBIA VS BOTSWANA
December 1 – 10h00
Last year’s runners-up Zambia will arguably be the pre-tournament favourites and open their account against Botswana, who have made great strides in the women’s game in the past few years.
They do have a history in this competition, this is a repeat of the bronze-medal match in 2019 that was won 3-0 by Zambia in the tournament played in Mauritius.
They have also met twice before in the preliminaries for the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup, including in 2012 when Zambia won 7-1 on aggregate after 5-1 and 2-0 wins.
They met again the in 2013 and it was a similar story, with Zambia this time running out 8-3 victors (5-2 & 3-1).
Seemingly joined at the hip, they clashed once more in 2018 and this time it was Botswana who came out on top with a 6-5 aggregate win. They remarkably came back from 5-2 down to win the second leg 4-0.
Both teams will know that a win here will see them almost certainly qualify for the semifinals.
ZIMBABWE VS COMOROS
December 1 – 13h00
Comoros will be making their third successive appearance in this age-group, and while Zimbabwe missed 2019, they did clash in the 2020 edition.
The match ended 3-2 to Zimbabwe in a narrow victory that showed the progress of the islanders in recent years as they came close to causing an upset.
Can they do it this time?
ZAMBIA VS NAMIBIA
December 4 – 10h00
Namibia will debut in this age-group and so this will be a first match between the teams and a chance for the Zambians book a semifinal, if they have not done so already.
It will also serve as a dress-rehearsal for their clash in the first round of the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup that is set for March.
BOTSWANA VS COMOROS
December 4 – 13h00
Despite the fact that Comoros have been to the last two editions of the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 competition, these two sides have not met before.
It will be another chance for Comoros to show their progress, and for Botswana to flex their muscles, with a semifinal place more than likely on the line.
ZIMBABWE VS NAMIBIA
December 5 – 15h30
Two teams who have been successful across the age groups down the years in the region, this will certainly be an intriguing battle and a huge test for both teams.
Each will also want to use it to prepare for the 2022 FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup qualifiers next year and this game could give them a big boost in confidence.