Group-by-group focus ahead of 2023 HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Cup

The 2023 HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Cup will be staged in Durban from July 5-16 and with battle lines drawn between the sides, it is bound to be another thrilling instalment in the rich history of this regional competition.

We give a reminder of the fixtures by group, with the top team in each pool to advance to the semifinals along with the best-placed runner-up, and also share a little history of past clashes between the sides.

05/07, 15h00: Eswatini vs Botswana – King Zwelithini Stadium
05/07, 18h00: South Africa vs Namibia – King Zwelithini Stadium
08/07, 15h00: South Africa vs Botswana – King Zwelithini Stadium
08/07, 18h00: Namibia vs Eswatini – King Zwelithini Stadium
11/07, 18h00: Namibia vs Botswana – Chatsworth Stadium
11/07, 18h00: South Africa vs Eswatini – Princess Magogo Stadium

Eswatini will be hoping for a first ever COSAFA Cup win over Botswana in the opening game of the tournament on July 5, having drawn two and lost three of their previous five meetings. They have only scored a single goal in that time.
They don’t, in fact, have a great record against any of their pool opponents having lost all five previous meetings with South Africa in the competition.
Their record against Namibia is a little more balanced with a single win each and a draw in the three games. So in 13 games overall against their pool opponents, Eswatini have won once.
The reverse is true for South Africa, who are unbeaten against Eswatini (W5) and Botswana (W7 D4), and have a single loss to Namibia (W4 D1 L1). Clashes between Bafana Bafana and Botswana are the most played fixture in the COSAFA Cup and they have remarkably met every year since 2015!
Botswana will therefore be confident against Eswatini but less so against South Africa. They are also unbeaten against Namibia, with two wins and two draws in four previous meetings. The last time they played The Brave Warriors was back in 2016.


06/07, 15h00: Seychelles vs Comoros – King Zwelithini Stadium
06/07, 18h00: Zambia vs Malawi – King Zwelithini Stadium
09/07, 15h00: Zambia vs Comoros – King Zwelithini Stadium
09/07, 18h00: Malawi vs Seychelles – King Zwelithini Stadium
11/07, 15h00: Malawi vs Comoros – Chatsworth Stadium
11/07, 15h00: Seychelles vs Zambia – Princess Magogo Stadium

If past history is anything to go by, Malawi will be the major challengers to defending champions Zambia in this pool.
The teams have met on eight previous occasions in the COSAFA Cup and Zambia have four wins, to go with two draws and two victories for The Flames.
Those wins for Malawi came in Blantyre in 2002 and Phokeng in 2015, and the only meeting since that game eight years ago was a 2-2 draw in Durban in 2019.
Zambia beat Seychelles 2-0 in their only previous meeting in 2006, while they have never met the Comoros in the COSAFA Cup, making sure we will have a little bit of history this year.
Malawi have also won their only meeting with Seychelles, a 3-0 success in 2019, and they have also won both previous clashes against the Comoros – 1-0 in 2008 and 2-1 in 2019.
Whether the island nations can spring a surprise this time round remains to be seen. Seychelles have still won only one of their previous 31 COSAFA Cup games, which was an extraordinary 7-0 success against Mauritius in 2008.
In three clashes against Comoros they have a draw (1-1 in 2018) and two defeats – both by 2-1 scorelines in 2009 and 2022.


07/07, 15h00: Mauritius vs Lesotho – King Zwelithini Stadium
07/07, 18h00: Mozambique vs Angola – King Zwelithini Stadium
10/07, 15h00: Angola vs Mauritius – Princess Magogo Stadium
10/07, 18h00: Mozambique vs Lesotho – Princess Magogo Stadium
12/07, 15h00: Angola vs Lesotho – Chatsworth Stadium
12/07, 15h00: Mauritius vs Mozambique – Princess Magogo Stadium

Angola and Mozambique will renew their Lusophone rivalry in this pool, with honours even down the years as they have claimed a win apiece and a draw in three previous meetings.
They have not met since a 1-0 win for The Mambas in Kitwe in 2013, a decade-long wait to go head-to-head again.
Angola have only met Malawi (seven times) more than Lesotho in the COSAFA Cup and they have also not had it all their own way. There have been three wins for Palancas Negras and two for Lesotho, with a single draw.
But their last clash, a 2-0 win for Lesotho, was all the way back in 2016, so it has been another long wait to try and right that wrong.
Angola also do not have an unblemished record against Mauritius, though it is fairly one-sided. In the five previous meetings they have won four to go with a single defeat in 2016. That was part of a run of three tournaments in a row in which they clashed, with Angola winning the next two games by 1-0 scorelines.
Mozambique are unbeaten against Lesotho (W1 D2) and Mauritius (D1). They have not faced Lesotho since 2006 though, with their previous two clashes ending 0-0, while their only meeting with Mauritius was also in 2006 and ended 0-0!
Lesotho and Mauritius have met on three previous occasions and it has been one-way traffic with the Mountain Kingdom winning all three games and scoring six goals in the process. That includes a 2-1 win last year.