COSAFA Cup returns to Durban

24 May, 2022 - 11:05 0 Views
COSAFA Cup returns to Durban

B-Metro

Fungai Muderere

THE 2022 COSAFA Cup will return to Durban this year having last been played in the South African coastal city in 2019, as the region’s top nations battle it out for the coveted crown.

The tournament will be staged from 5-17 July, providing coaches with an excellent chance to fine-tune their squads ahead of the second set of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that will take place in September.

So many players have put their hand up in recent COSAFA Cup tournaments and gone on to cement their place in their national side, with perhaps the best example being the South African squad that claimed the trophy in Gqeberha in 2021.

The likes of Rushine de Reuck, Nyiko Mobbie, Ethan Brooks and Yusuf Maart would all use the competition to go on and become regulars for the side in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

That was a fifth regional title for Bafana Bafana as they edged West African guest nation Senegal in the final with a victory on penalties.

It was the third time a team had claimed the trophy via spot-kicks, with Angola the first to do so in 2004 when they edged Zambia 5-4 after a 0-0 draw.

South Africa also needed penalties to beat Zambia in 2007 with a 4-3 win after that final also finished 0-0.

The 2021 tournament was also a triumph for Eswatini as they picked up the bronze medal with a 4-2 shoot-out win over Mozambique as their third-place play-off ended 1-1.

Bafana’s victory moved them level with Zambia on five tournament wins since the COSAFA Cup was first played in 1997, but they are both one behind overall leaders Zimbabwe, who have six wins.

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