30 April 2018– The COSAFA CUP celebrates 21 years of existence. The tournament was first staged in 1997 and Zambia were the inaugural winners. The year 2018 marks the first time all 14 members of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) will be taking part in the tournament – only nine nations played in the first tournament. Zimbabwe has won a record five titles, followed by Zambia and South African with four wins each.
Here is the tournament in numbers:
1 – Namibia’s triumph at the 2015 COSAFA Cup was their first in the competition and made them just the fifth country to lift the title in all. They also had a ‘first’ in 2016 when they hosted the tournament for the first time.
5 – The number of titles won by Zimbabwe after their 2017 triumph when they defeated Zambia 3-1 in Phokeng. Zambia and South Africa have four wins each, Angola three and Namibia that single triumph.
5 – Aside from their four tournament wins, Zambia have also finished runners-up on five occasions, more than any other nation. Four of those runners-up medals came between 2004 and 2009, before they also picked up a silver medal in 2017.
5 – The disproportionately high number of own goals scored in Malawi’s favour in their COSAFA Cup history, three times by Angola (Moises, Fernando & Ito), once by Zimbabwe (Nyamupanedengu) and once by Namibia (Tjihero). Malawi did not manage a goal in any of their matches in 2017.
6 – The number of goals scored by Zimbabwe forward Ovidy Karuru at the 2017 COSAFA Cup, which saw him finish as top-scorer at the tournament and also claim the record for the most goals in a single tournament.
7 – The number of goals scored by Zimbabwe striker Peter Ndlovu in the COSAFA Cup, more than any other player. His first was in 1998 and the last in 2004.
6 – The Comoros Islands have featured in just two COSAFA Cup tournaments, in 2008 and 2009. In that time they have played six matches, with one victory, a draw and four defeats. Their only win was 2-1 against Seychelles in 2009. They return for a third competition in 2018!
7 – The Seychelles stunned Mauritius 7-0 in the 2008 COSAFA Cup, which remains to this day the biggest ever margin of victory in the competition. It also remains the only ever victory for the island nation in the competition, having played 22 games so far.
9 – The number of nations that appeared in the first ever COSAFA Cup. There will be 14 at this year’s event in South Africa.
12 – The number of matches it took before Zambia finally lost a COSAFA Cup match. The team won the first two competitions were eventually beaten 1-0 by Angola in 1999.
14 – All 14 member nations of COSAFA will take part in the competition in 2018, the first time this has ever happened!
15 – The age of Angolan goalkeeper Eduardo Bunga when he played in the 2016 COSAFA Cup!
36 – The number of wins managed by Zimbabwe in their COSAFA Cup history, more than any other country.
52 – The number of matches played by Zimbabwe in the history of the COSAFA Cup, the most by any side.
94 – The number of goals scored by Zimbabwe in the history of the COSAFA Cup, the most by any side.
1997 – The first year the tournament was staged, with Zambia ending as inaugural winners.
2000 – Lesotho made the final of the COSAFA Cup in 2000, but lost both legs of the decider 3-0 to Zimbabwe to go down 6-0 on aggregate. That is their only final appearance to date.
2008 – The year South Africa completed a rare feat – winning back-to-back COSAFA Cup titles. Only inaugural winners Zambia (1997 & 1998) have managed to do the same.
For further information please contact:
Technical : Sue Destombes / Sec Gen COSAFA
+27 82 9000 648
All other info : Lynda Greeff
+27 82 446 5120 / Skype: lynda.greeff