23 June 2018– Zambia will be the defending champions at the 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championships after storming 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 later 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.
Oswald Mutapa will coach the Class of 2018.
ZAMBIA FACT FILE:
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
For further information please contact:
Technical : Sue Destombes / Sec Gen COSAFA
+27 82 9000 648
All other info : Lynda Greeff
firstname.lastname@example.org+27 82 446 5120 / Skype: lynda.greeff