Mozambique coach Claudio Macapa has named a 24-player provisional squad for the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from August 1-11.
Mozambique will seek to show their improvement in recent years as they enter the inaugural regional championship in this age-group, with a squad made up mostly of very young talent.
Most players are under the age of 18, including midfielderEunencia Machava and striker Swelly da Fonseca, who are both 16.
Mozambique have been drawn in Group A and will take on Namibia in the opening game of the tournament on August 1 at the Gelvandale Stadium. After that they meet Zimbabwe (August 3) and hosts South Africa (August 5), all at the same venue. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.
It will be difficult to gauge the qualities of the youngsters ahead of the tournament, as Mozambique did not feature in any of the recent AUSC Region 5 Games competitions. They have also sat out the last few qualifiers for the African Under-20 Cup of Nations for Women, with their last shot at the finals coming ahead of the 2014 finals.
In their first qualification campaign in 2006, the side ousted Zambia (5-2 on aggregate) in the first round, before losing to South Africa (0-9). They were beaten by the same opposition two years later (1-7), and then lost to Zimbabwe (0-7) in 2012 and Tanzania (1-15) in 2014.
That has led to some introspection around the team, but they are now ready to return to action.
Goalkeepers: Lina Matsinhe, Edinilde Mandlate, Abiba Sombreiro
Defenders: Arcenia Macie, Neide Maconho, Natalia Custodio, Leonilde Matola, Amelia Mazembe, Joana Ataide
Midfielders: Marlene Espinosa, Keila Banze, Dulce Lopes, Eunencia Machava, Helena Jhon, Neusa Colete, Angela Xavier, Zubaida Domingos, Domingas Trindade
Strikers: Swelly da Fonseca, Cecilia Massango, Emena Muchabje, Marlene Bernardo, Aldozinda da Conceicao