Harare - Defending champions and hosts South Africa will have to be at their best to advance to the semi-finals of the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship after they were drawn with an improving Angola and Eswatini in Group A.
Banyana Banyana were also pooled with Comoros in the draw held in South Africa Thursday.
The three seeds for this year’s tourney were South Africa, and 2019 runners-up Zambia and third-placed Zimbabwe.
Zambia will face-off against Malawi and Lesotho in Group B; while Zimbabwe take on Botswana and guest nation Tanzania in Group C.
The tournament runs from November 3 to 15 November at Nelson Mandela Bay.
The three group winners and the best runner-up progress to the semi-finals.
Eswatini and Comoros get the ball rolling at Wolfson with Banyana Banyana taking on Angola later on at the same venue on November 3.
A new trophy will be handed out this year after South Africa took for keeps the one previously awarded to the champions after winning it three consecutive times as per sporting tradition.
Meanwhile, Under-17 fiesta will follow a round-robin basis after Botswana pulled out to leave only five participants.
The U17 tourney runs concurrently with the senior women’s tournament at Nelson mandela Bay.
Botswana asked to be excused as they have failed to secure the release of players, most of whom it said were preparing for final exams at school.
Instead of placing the teams in two groups of three each, the teams will now be pooled in one section where they will play each other in a round-robin format.
In a statement COSAFA said, "It means the competition will be reduced to five teams, and in turn provides a change of format into a single group where all sides play one-another in a round-robin format. That ensures four matches for the remaining sides, who are hosts South Africa, Comoros, East African guest nation Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
COSAFA Women’s Championship
- Eswatini v Comoros (12:30 Wolfson) 03/11/20
- South Africa v Angola (15:30 Wolfson) 03/11/20
- Zambia v Lesotho (12:30 Wolfson) 04/11/20
- Zimbabwe v Tanzania (15:30 Wolfson) 04/11/20
- Comoros v Angola (12:30 Wolfson) 06/11/20
- Eswatini v South Africa (15:30 Wolfson) 06/11/20
- Botswana v Tanzania (12h30 Wolfson) 07/11/20
- Malawi v Lesotho (15:30 Wolfson) 07/11/20
- Zimbabwe v Botswana (12:30 Gelvandale) 09/11/20
- Zambia v Malawi (12:30 Wolfson) 09/11/20
- Angola v Eswatini (15:30 Gelvandale) 09/11/20
- South Africa v Comoros (15:30 Wolfson) 09/11/12