Hosts Zambia head into the 2019 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship having had an unbelievable year in regional tournaments in both the male and female categories.
Lusaka will stage the coveted finals between December 4-14, and Zambia will be among the favourites to lift the trophy, which has been won for the last two years by South Africa.
Should they do so it will be the continuation of an incredible six months for the country in COSAFA competitions, which has so far seen them pick up two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze.
Here is a low-down of their 2019 in the various regional competitions.
2019 COSAFA CUP
The Zambia senior men’s side retained the COSAFA Cup title for the first time since 2013 with a 1-0 victory over Botswana in the final in Durban. They were full value for their tournament success!
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Zambia could not quite do the ‘Double’ by claiming the women’s senior challenge as well but came unstuck against powerhouse South Africa in the final to go home with the silver medal. The decider was a tight game too with the home side triumphing 1-0.
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Agonisingly close for Zambia again as they picked up the silver medal in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship that ran concurrently with the senior championship. They went down 2-1 to East African guest nation Tanzania in the final, conceding the decisive goal late on.
2019 COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Finish: Third Place
Zambia took home the bronze medal in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that was played in Mauritius, trouncing Botswana 3-0 in the third-place play-off. They were edged 2-1 in a tight semifinal by South Africa, as the trophy was eventually lifted by East African guest nation Uganda.
2019 COSAFA MEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Zambia pic ked up the gold medal with a deserved 2-0 victory over Mozambique as they proved they were the best team in the competition once again, regaining the title they last lifted in 2017. The tournament was played in Malawi and included a 7-0 victory for Zambia over regional rivals South Africa.