Namibia seek to turn silver into gold in Eswatini

Namibia came within a whisker of winning the COSAFA Under-20 Championship in 2020 when they were beaten 1-0 by Mozambique in the decider, a disappointing end to a fabulous tournament for the Young Brave Warriors.

They had qualified for the knockout rounds as the best-placed runner-up after wins over Malawi (2-1) and Comoros (1-0) in their pool, to go with a defeat to Zambia (1-0).

That set up a semifinal with more fancied Angola, but Namibia eased to a 1-0 win and booked a final spot, though ultimately they would fall short against the Young Mambas.

They will try again at the TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier which is to be staged in Eswatini from October 7-16, where a place in the final will earn them a spot at the continental finals in Egypt next year.

The top four teams in that competition will in turn qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia next year.

Namibia were also in many ways the surprise-package of the 2010 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, making it all the way to the final before losing out to Zambia.

Some of the football that they displayed was simply outstanding and players such as captain Sydney Urikhob went on to play in South Africa’s PSL.

It was their best ever result in the tournament until last year, beating their semifinal showing in 2007, but they could not repeat the feat when they competed in 2013.

There they managed five points from a possible nine to finish second in their first round pool behind the powerful South Africans.

Namibia did not compete in the last COSAFA Under-20 Championships held in South Africa in 2016, nor in 2018 and 2019.

They did play in 2017 when they beat Angola 1-0 in their opener, but then lost to Lesotho (2-1) and drew with Zimbabwe (0-0) to exit in the first round.

Their exploits in finishing second two years ago did earn them a place at the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations, but they exited in the first round after taking a single point from their three games.

They drew their opener with Central African Republic 1-1, before losses to Tunisia (2-0) and Burkina Faso (2-1).

1999 – Group stages
2000 – Quarterfinals
2001 – Quarterfinals
2002 – Quarterfinals
2003 – Group stages
2004 – Group stages
2005 – Group stages
2006 – Group stages
2007 – Fourth
2008 – Group stages
2009 – Group stages
2010 – Runners-up
2011 – Group stages
2013 – Group stages
2016 – Did not enter
2017 – Group stages
2018 – Did not enter
2019 – Did not enter
2020 – Runners-up