Madagascar complete field for COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Champs

Madagascar have been confirmed as the 12th team to compete at the 2019 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships that will be staged in Lusaka, Zambia from December 4-14.

The islanders complete the field for the regional showpiece tournament and will take their place in Friday’s draw, ensuring this year’s competition is an all-Southern African affair with no guest nations.

They join Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and hosts Zambia in the pots for the last of six COSAFA tournaments across all age-groups this year.

The draw will be held in Lusaka on Friday at 14h15 and will be streamed LIVE on COSAFA TV.

Madagascar are previous winners of the COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships, one of only four nations to lift the trophy, but have not competed in recent years.

They beat Lesotho 1-0 in the final in 2005, joining Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe as past winners, in what is also their only previous final.

They will appear in the competition for the first time in six years, having last played in 2013 when they lost both games in a three-team Group B in the first round, going down to Angola (1-5) and Mozambique (0-6).   They also went winless in 2011 after defeats to Angola (0-1) and Namibia (1-3), and a thrilling 5-5 draw with Zimbabwe.

They had a three-team pool in 2010, which started with a thumping 5-0 success over Seychelles and was followed by a 2-0 win over Mozambique.

That meant a semifinal with Namibia, which was lost, before the team went down 3-1 to Zimbabwe in the bronze-medal match.

The side also made the third-place play-off in 2009 but lost on penalties to nemesis Zimbabwe after they had been beaten 4-0 by Zambia in the semifinals.    They did win the bronze medal in 2007 though as they defeated Namibia 2-1 in the play-off.

Their championship success in 2005 came as they played in a five-team first round group and beat Namibia (7-0), Malawi (3-2) and Seychelles (7-0), but also suffered a loss to Angola (0-1).

They edged Zambia on penalties in the semifinals after a 1-1 draw, before Rajaonison Tojoniaina got the only goal of the game in the 70th minute as they beat Lesotho in the decider.Madagascar debuted in the competition in 1999 when they exited in the first round, and  had similar results in 2003, 2004 and 2006. They reached the quarterfinals in 2001 but lost to Angola (0-1).