22 June 2018 – Zambia will be the defending champions at the 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championships have stormed to the title in Mauritius last year. It was a welcome change in fortunes for the Young Chipolopolo, who had been disqualified from the 2016 tournament after being found guilty of fielding two ineligible players.
But they put that set-back behind them to show their quality 12 months ago as they came through a difficult pool that also included regional heavyweights South Africa to secure the crown.
Zambia beat hosts Mauritius 3-0 in the final as Lameck Banda and Martin Njobvu finished as joint top-scorers. The team’s goalkeeper, Kennedy Nankhaima, also won the award for best gloveman in the tournament.
Zambia had found success hard to come by in the regional competition before that, despite a steady history of providing excellent young players.
They have also, somewhat surprisingly, only made a single appearance at the African Under-17 Championships in the past when the competition was staged in Niger in 2015.
Defeats to Nigeria and Guinea sealed a first round exit, though players such as Patson Daka, Prosper Chiluya and Enoch Mwepu have developed well since then and become stars of the Under-20 and senior national team set-up.
The Class of 2018 will be coached by Oswald Mutapa.
COSAFA Under-17 Championship wins (1):2017
Last years’ finish:Winners
African Under-17 Championship appearances (1):2015
Best finish:Group Stages (2015)
FIFA Under-17 World Cup appearances (0):None
2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship fixtures:
19/07:vs Mozambique – 12h30 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
22/07:vs Lesotho – 15h00 – Auguste Vollaire Stadium
24/07:vs South Africa – 15h00 – St Francois Xavier Stadium