Women's team has their work cut out to make it four times a charm
The South African senior women’s national team, Banyana Banyana, has been drawn in Group C of the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Championship scheduled for Bulawayo, Zimbabwe next month (September 13-24).
The draw was conducted in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Banyana Banyana will take on Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana in the group stages.
South Africa has won this tournament three times – 2002, 2006, 2008.
Hosts Zimbabwe are the defending champion having won the last tournament played on home soil in 2011.
Banyana Banyana open their account with a clash against Lesotho on Thursday, September 14 at the Luveve Stadium, followed by the fixture against Namibia the next day at the Barbourfields Stadium.
In the last group stages encounter, South Africa will go toe-to-toe against Botswana, also at Barbourfields Stadium.
Zimbabwe has been drawn alongside old rivals Zambia, as the draw threw up some mouth-watering clashes.
Madagascar and Malawi will join Zimbabwe and Zambia in Group A in what is sure to be a tightly-contested pool.
East African guest nation Kenya head up Group B, where they will face Mauritius, Mozambique and Swaziland in another pool that will be tough to predict.
All of the games in Group A will take place at Barbourfields Stadium, while all Group B fixtures will be played at Luveve Stadium.
The opening match will see Namibia take on Botswana (starting 10.30am), before two clashes in Group A as Zambia faces Malawi (2pm) and Zimbabwe locks horns with Madagascar (4.30pm).
The teams play each other in a round-robin format, with the pool winners and best-placed runner-up advancing to the semi-finals, which will be played on Thursday, September 21.
The third-fourth place play-off will take place on Saturday, September 23, while the final has been scheduled for Sunday, September 24.
With 12 teams competing this year, it is the biggest ever field assembled for the Cosafa Women’s Championship and shows the tremendous growth in women’s football in the last decade. – ANA
Group A: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi
Group B: Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Swaziland
Group C: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana