Zambia name young squad for COSAFA Women Under-20 Championship

18Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Zambia name young squad for COSAFA Women Under-20 Championship

ZAMBIA coach, Charles Haalubono, has named a preliminary squad of players for the COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship to be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from August 1-11.

ZAMBIA coach, Charles Haalubono

The 29 players will be whittled down to the final 20 for the competition, which is the inaugural staging of the regional championship in this age-group.

Haalubono still has to give much thought to his selections and has at this stage included five goalkeepers as he seeks his best options.   

It is a very young selection, with 22 players aged 17 or younger. The youngest player in the squad is Edah Lungu, one of five 15-year-olds selected by Haalubono.

 

It is clearly a tournament of learning and growth for the squad then, with the target perhaps a tilt at the next few Women’s Under-20 World Cups.    

The Young She-polopolo have yet to qualify for a FIFA World Cup in this age-group, though Zambia has had success in that regard before when the Under-17 side played at the 2014 global finals in Costa Rica.

Zambia did not enter the qualifiers for the last Under-20 World Cup but have been regular participants in the past.    

They reached the quarterfinals of the African qualifying competition in 2002, but lost on aggregate to South Africa, and have not been past the second round since then.

Zambia have been drawn in Group B at the COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship and will take on Eswatini in their opener on August 2.     

After that they will face Botswana two days later, before rounding out their pool play against Tanzania on August 6. Only the two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.

Zambia preliminary squad:Goalkeepers: Anna Mukumbuta, Edith Nawakwi Zimba, Memory Namonje, Blessings Kazila, Yolanda Hankanga

Defenders: Thelma Phiri, Diana Banda, Constance Kamusu, Edah Lungu, Margaret Yambe, Mary Mulenga, Mapalo Kapindula, Rosemary Nyirongo, Florence Kasonde, Sarah Jere

Midfielders: Salome Phiri, Liba Musonda, Elizabeth Mupeso, Evarine Suzeni Katongo, Maweta Gloria Chilenga, Thandiwe Ndhlovu, Mary Mambwe, Elina Mwanza, Sthokozile Champa

Strikers: Loveness Malunga, Maylan Mulenga, Lydia Mubanga, Christine Kalange, Precious Nsama

In another development, Mozambique coach, Sara Simone, has named her preliminary selection for the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship as she looks to plot a semi-final berth for the side in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The regional showpiece competition will be staged in the South African coastal city from July 31-August 11, where Mozambique will aim to build on previous performances.

Simone has chosen a side that has both youth and experience, including forward Cidalia Cuta, who netted twice in last year’s competition.    

The youngest member of the squad is 19-year-old defender Virginia Fernando, while the oldest is veteran defender Amelia Elias, who will be 33.

Mozambique have been drawn in Group C and will start their campaign against Eswatini on August 1.

That will be followed by a clash with Zimbabwe the following day, and a final pool game against Angola on August 5.

Only the top team in each pool and the best placed runner-up advance to the semi-finals.

Mozambique appeared at the very first COSAFA Women’s Championships in 2002 and excelled, reaching the semifinals before they were handed an 11-1 defeat by hosts Zimbabwe in the knockout round.

They have not managed to match that feat since but can look back with pride on victories over Eswatini (2-0) and Botswana (7-1) in those inaugural championships.

They also competed in the regional showpiece finals in 2011 but managed just a single point in the pool stages.

They had mixed success in 2017, losing to East African guest nation Kenya (2-5), drawing with Eswatini (2-2) and beating Mauritius (3-0).    

The team beat Lesotho 2-1 at the championships in 2018, but also lost to Zambia (0-3) and Central African guest nation Cameroon (1-8) to bow out at the pool stages.

They have twice before entered the qualifiers for the African Women’s Championships, but failed to reach the 2006 and 2012 continental finals.

Their first ever international was a 3-0 win over Lesotho in 1998, with their biggest victory a 9-0 defeat of Namibia in 2006.

Mozambique preliminary squad:Goalkeepers: Esperança António Matsinhe, Elsa Francisco Domingos Alferes

Defenders: Graça Castro Joao, Rosa Antonio Mainque, Ancha Delfina Sumburane, Aurora Agostinho Ngale, Amelia Fabiao Banze, Virginia Fracinete Fernando, Amelia Elias, Eufasia Manuel Soto

Midfielders: Amalia Slavia Faustino Vilanculo, Raquel Antonio Lourenco, Ines Celestino Chingueleze, Albertina Carlos Pondja, Deolinda Fenhane Gove, Lonica Vasco Tsanwane, Cainara Mussa Jamal, Joana Henrique Iguane

Strikers: Betinha Vasco Alfredo, Fidelia Francisco Gove, Cina Filomena Manuel, Cidalia Daniel Cuta, Violeta Cuda David

 

 

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