Ndlovu satisfied with Cosafa draw

HARARE - Young Warriors coach Bhekithemba Ndlovu believes his side has been handed a fair draw for next month’s Cosafa Under-20 Championship to be held in Zambia.

Ndlovu’s side have been pooled in Group C together with Angola, Lesotho and Namibia.

“I think it’s a fair draw but it’s important to note that there are no small teams anymore,” Ndlovu told the Daily News.

“We have very little time left and if we can have two, three or four weeks in camp, I think it will help us assemble a strong team. We have already started the selection process and the core of the squad will obviously be around some Premier League players who are Under 20.

“We have already hit the ground running. I’m currently working with some of the players here in Bulawayo and my assistants are doing the same in Harare.”

Ndlovu’s side will have to be at their best in Zambia because only the top teams from the three groups will qualify for the semi-finals together with the best-placed runners-up.

The Young Warriors get the ball rolling with a clash against Lesotho at the Nkana Stadium in Kitwe on December 7, with their next game coming two days later at the same venue against Angola.

Zimbabwe will round up their group assignments with a clash against Namibia at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

Hosts and holders Zambia will have to contend with a tricky first round group that also includes Swaziland, guest nation Uganda and Malawi.

The Young Chipolopolo will meet the Ugandans in their tournament opener on December 6.

The regional showpiece competition will get under way earlier in the day when Swaziland take on Malawi.

The Group of Death in this year’s tournament appears to be Group B as last year’s runners-up South Africa must contend with Egypt, Mozambique and Mauritius.

Matches will be played at the Arthur Davies and Nkana stadiums in Kitwe.

Angola will also be in action on the opening day against Namibia.

The group stage will be completed on December 12, followed by a rest day, with the semi-finals to be staged at the Arthur Davies Stadium on December 14.

The third-place play-off and the final will move to the Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola on December 16.

Cosafa Under-20 Draw:

Group A: Zambia, Swaziland, Uganda, Malawi.

Group B: South Africa, Egypt, Mozambique, Mauritius.

Group C: Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Angola, Namibia.

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