Zimbabwe name final squad for COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship

Zimbabwe coach Tonderai Ndiraya has named his final squad of 20 players for the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship that starts in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday.

Zimbabwe are making a return to the competition after missing out last year and have been drawn in a tough pool that also includes hosts South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho.

Only the top team from each of the three pools and the best-placed runner-up advance to the semi-finals, while the two sides that will compete in the final will earnt a place at the 2021 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania.

Ndiraya has included midfielder Brandon Nyagurungo from the Caya Foot Academy in Senegal, as well as England-based Sebastian Summerfield from Gateshead FC.

Two South African-based players, defender Munashe Garananga (Ubuntu) and midfielder Bernard Matsikidze (Highlands Park), have also been included.

“I think the players we brought in should be able to give us the results that we want,” Ndiraya told reporters last week. “Our target, obviously, is to reach the semi-finals.  “Ultimately, we want to win the top prize, hopefully, things will go in our favour, we will prepare well and execute our plans very well.

“Naturally, if a team is prepared well, then nothing will stop it from getting good results.

“South Africa have always been a difficult side for us, over the years, in all age groups, even at senior level.

“But we want to try our best this time around, it should be an exciting match, the opening match, we should give everyone some exciting moments.” 

Zimbabwe squad:

Goalkeepers: Tendai Chirara (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Matripples Muleya (Bulawayo Chiefs)

Defenders: Tinotenda Muringai (Dynamos), Kelvin Mangiza (FC Platinum), Munashe Garananga (Ubuntu, South Africa), Malvern Hativagoni, Munashe Katondo (Ngezi Platinum Stars) 

Midfielders: Sebastian Summerfield (Gateshead FC, England), Lexington Mujokoro (FMSA Umguza),Bernard Matsikidze (Highlands Park, South Africa), Brandon Nyagurungo (Caya Foot Academy, Senegal), Oscar Magejo (Academy Twenty 63), Takunda Mkunga, Bill Antonio (Prince Edward Academy), Panashe Mutimbanyoka (FC Platinum), Tendai Matindife (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Debbellar Mapuwa (Legends Academy), Tinotendaishe Benza (Herentals FC)

Strikers: Munashe Pini (Chicken Inn), Tapiwa Mandinyenya (Aces Youth Academy)