Swaziland, Lesotho clash in pre-tournament warm-ups

Swaziland and Lesotho have been involved in warm-up matches ahead of the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC that will take place in South Africa’s North West province from December 7-16.

The first match between the pair was won 3-1 by Lesotho, before they played to a 0-0 draw in a second clash at the Somhlolo National Stadium on Sunday.

The matches have been crucial for both sides as they build towards the regional showpiece, with Swaziland officials confirming they were looking to play more friendlies in preparation for the tournament.

By the time the teams meet in Group A at the COSAFA Under-20 Championships in their final pool match on December 12 at the Mogwase Stadium.

The other two sides in their pool are hosts South Africa and Botswana, with the only the top team advancing to the semifinals.

Swaziland will be hoping to make a big impression at this year’s COSAFA Under-20 Championships having exited the competition in the first round for the last 10 tournaments.

In fact, they have not won a match at the COSAFA Under-20 Championships since 2004, a record they will be desperate to put right this year.

They were beaten by Botswana (0-2) and Zimbabwe (1-2) in the last instalment of the competition in Lesotho in 2013, where they were competitive but did not quite have the quality to collect a win.

Lesotho were the hosts of the last COSAFA Under-20 Championships in 2013, but exited in the first round.

They might not have reached the semifinals since 2005, but have generally always run close to the knockout stages and will feel they have a good chance this year.

Zambia have been the most successful side in the history of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships with 10 victories to their name, followed by Zimbabwe with six.

South Africa have claimed five titles with Madagascar the only other team to lift the trophy after their 2005 triumph.