The 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships gets under way on Wednesday with lots of anticipation.
Uganda Hippos will kick start the tournament with a tricky encounter against hosts and U20 African Champions Zambia at Arthur Davis stadium in Kitwe.
The encounter provides a chance for Matia Lule’s charges to settle the old score against Zambia who knocked out Uganda in the U17 qualifiers two years ago.
Lule is confident his team is in good shape and ready to take on Zambia.
“We are prepared, the mood in the camp is good and the attitude from the players is positive,” he said before adding, “we respect Zambia because they are hosts and have talented players but my players are equally talented and I have the confidence they will impress.”
The home side have included highly-rated fullback Edward Chilufya of Swedish club Djurgardens in their squad as the only survivor from last yearâ€™s winning team.
â€œHe is the only player still eligible to play in the next U20 AFCON qualifiers so he is part of this team,â€� Coach Mumamba Numba told reporters.Â Â â€œWe thought that since he was in the country, and we had an injury, we needed to replace someone that is why we brought him to join his colleagues.â€�
Also in action on the opening day are Swaziland and Malawi, who contest the first game of the tournament in a Group A clash at the same venue.
Both sides would be considered outsiders for the title, but Malawi in particular have found some joy in this competition in the past.
The first game in Group B will also be played as Mozambique take on North African giants Egypt another guest nation.
The top two team in each pool advance to the semifinals, along with the best-placed two runners up.
The semifinals will be played on December 14, with the third-place play-off and final to be staged in Ndola on December 16.
Zambia have been the most successful side in COSAFA Under-20 Championships history with 11 titles, followed by Zimbabwe (six wins), South Africa (five) and Mozambique (one).
Uganda’s probable starting XI
Saidi Keni,Fred Okot,Mustapha Kiiza,Mustapha Mujjuzi,Geoffrey Wasswa, Abubaker Muhammad Kasule, Julius Poloto,Shafik Kagimu,Mohammad Shaban,Allan Okello, David Owori
read more here: ChimpReports. This post is syndicated.