3 May 2019 – The 2019 COSAFA Cup is set to light up the Southern African region when it is staged in Durban from May 25-June 8.

Zimbabwe will play as defending champions and will be among the favourites once again in what is a richly talented field that includes East African guest nation Uganda.
Here is a quick guide to the teams that will take part in this year’s tournament.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

43        17        14        12        41        36

Angola are three-time winners of the COSAFA Cup, but have not tasted success since 2004. In recent years they have opted to bring very young squads to the tournament as they use it to blood fresh talent for the World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifiers. They have qualified for the World Cup once before, in 2006, with their victory in the 2004 COSAFA Cup going some way to shaping that team. They could use this tournament as preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

41        9          15        17        36        46

Botswana have been finalists as recently as 2016, where they lost 3-2 to South Africa’s Olympics-bound squad, and lost to the same opposition last year in the Plate final. They also made the Cup semifinals in 2007, losing once again to the South Africans. The side recently released veteran coach David Bright.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

9          1          2          7          3          13

Comoros Islands return for a second successive year in the COSAFA Cup and for what will be only their fourth tournament over all. Their lone previous victory came against the Seychelles nine years ago, while they failed to score in any of their five other matches. The side is vastly improved since then though, as they have shown in recent continental qualifiers.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

43        11        13        19        40        54

Lesotho have made the semifinals in the last two years, but were ousted in a thrilling 4-3 defeat to eventual champions Zimbabwe in 2017 and lost on penalties to the same opposition last year after a 0-0 draw. They did manage in the bronze medal in both those tournaments. Lesotho were runners-up in the southern African championship in 2000 proving the potential of the mountain kingdom despite is small population size, and have always been a difficult opponent.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

46        12        14        20        41        56

Malawi have not perhaps lived up to their rich potential in recent times and have scored just a single goal in their last seven COSAFA Cup matches. They picked up just two points in both 2017 and 2018, and will hope for much better this time round. Malawi have been runners-up in two COSAFA Cup competitions, reaching the final for the first time in 2002 and then making the decider again the following year.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

32        7          5          20        22        53

Mauritius have perhaps not performed how they might have hoped in recent tournaments, bowing out in the first round in the last 10 tournaments. They caused arguably the biggest upset in COSAFA Cup history in 2004 when they beat South Africa, who had a full-strength team headed to the African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia, in the first round in Curepipe. But Club M are still seeking to get past the quarterfinal stage of the Southern African championship.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

42        15        8          19        46        58
Mozambique narrowly missed out on the quarterfinals last year after two wins from their three pool games, ultimately undone by a defeat to Madagascar in the group stages. They are led by flamboyant coach Abel Xavier, in his fourth COSAFA Cup tournament. Mozambique were semifinalists in the 2004 and 2008 COSAFA Cup tournaments, and then went one better in 2015 when they lost 2-0 in the final to Namibia.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

49        17        17        15        63        54

Namibia were COSAFA Cup winners in 2015, won the Plate competition in 2016 and reached the final of the Plate again in 2017 before losing to South Africa. Their trilling run to the major trophy four years ago was a huge personal triumph for coach Ricardo Mannetti, who remains in charge. They also made the final in 1999, but narrowly lost to Angola in extra-time in the second leg in Windhoek.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

25        1          5          19        16        54

Seychelles have just a single victory in 25 COSAFA Cup games, but that was a handsome 7-0 success over Mauritius in 2008 that remains the largest ever winning margin in the history of the tournament. Since then they have battled, managing to score in only five of their previous 15 games and conceding 36 goals in that time. They did manage two draws in last year’s competition.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

44        24        13        7          61        25

Four-time winners South Africa last tasted COSAFA Cup success in 2016, but have disappointed in recent tournaments, going out at the quarterfinal stage in three of the last four. South Africa are one of only two COSAFA member countries to have won the African Nations Cup title, doing so on home soil at their first attempt in 1996. Zambia joined them with their 2012 success.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

41        14        10        17        38        50

Swaziland had a thrilling run in the 2016 COSAFA Cup when they claimed the bronze medal and have always been a difficult opponent at the tournament. They have reached the semifinals of the COSAFA Cup on four occasions, proving their potential for upset results, but have yet to make that major leap into a final.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

55        28        18        9          79        39

Zambia are four-time winners of the COSAFA Cup but have been to 10 finals in all, including the last two years when they were beaten 3-1 and 4-2 by Zimbabwe. Their previous title was in 2013 on home soil and they remain a real power of the region. Zambia won both of the first two editions of the COSAFA Cup in 1997 and 1998, but it took until 2006 for them to claim their third regional title.


P          W        D         L          GF        GA

55        33        13        8          99        41

Zimbabwe are the most successful nation in the history of the COSAFA Cup, winning their sixth title in 2018. They have played the most matches, managed the most wins and scored the most goals to cement their place on the top of the pile. They have suffered disappointment too though with three runner-up finishes.