Gladiators draw Zambia, Botswana and Mauritius at Cosafa

03 Jul 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 03 JUL (NAMPA) – The Namibian senior women’s football team, the Brave Gladiators, have been drawn with Zambia, Botswana and Mauritius at the Senior Women’s 2019 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament.
The tournament is scheduled for Port Elizabeth in South Africa and will run from 31 July to 11 August.
The draw conducted on Wednesday in South Africa saw Namibia being placed in Group B with neighbours Botswana who knocked out the Gladiators from the 2020 Japan Olympics by a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.
Namibia have played both Zambia and Botswana regularly at Cosafa, and newly installed coach of the Gladiators, Uerikondjera ‘Mamie’ Kasaona acknowledged that the draw is a tough one.
“There is nothing new with the two teams as we know them, and similarly they know us. We have played them before, with Botswana being as recent as April when they knocked us out of the Olympic qualifiers. As for Mauritius we will be playing them for the first time,” she noted.
She said she was happy the draw is out as this will help her prepare the team with the knowledge of who they will face.
Kasaona added that the target will be to qualify for the next round of the tournament - the semi-finals.
Only the top team in each pool advances to the semi-finals, along with the best second-place finisher, meaning there is little room for error for any of the sides.
Defending champions South Africa have been drawn in Group A with debutants the Comoros, Malawi and Madagascar.
Zimbabwe headline Group C, where they will take on Mozambique, Angola and Eswatini.
Meanwhile, the Under-20 draw was also conducted on Wednesday, and sees Namibia drawn in Group A with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi, in what is certainly a ‘group of death’.
Group B contains Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Eswatini, and is also expected to be eagerly-contested.
The two tournaments will run side-by-side, with the matches to be played at the Wolfson and Gelvandale stadiums.