Malawi Under-17 Football Team coach Dicklerk Msakakuona believes his charges can turn-around Zambia in this year’s COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship.
Msakakuona was reacting to a draw that was held yesterday, which saw Malawi fall together with Zambia, in a group B that also has Botswana and Comoros.
Zambia have been a barrier for Malawi in three recent occasions including last year when Malawi hosted the event.
Zambia scored a bitter third goal that sent Malawi in tears, at a time the game was in a 2-all.
Apart from this, in 2017, Zambia also ousted Malawi in a Semi-final match that ended 2-0 but it was a bit better because the previous year, Malawi were out in group stages after a 3-0 loss to the same neighbors.
But in all, Msakakuona believes his team can do something new even though they are in the same group with Zambia again.
“We just need to set ourselves ready for the tournament by regrouping which will happen early this week. I know by the end of the week, come next week, we will have a picture of who is going to make it to the final squad.
“Zambia has been our stumbling block as far as the qualifying for the semifinals is concerned but with good preparation and planning, we can do well against these teams.” Msakakuona said.
After the draw in Nelson Mandela Bay, teams are on for preparations for the competition, expected to be held from November 19-29 in South Africa.
Only the teams that will emerge top in each pool and the best-placed runners-up advance to the semifinals, with the two teams that contest the decider to earn a place in the CAF Under-20 Cup of Nations next year.
Meanwhile, a group of death can be that of South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Eswatini who have been drawn in a Group A, with two of those teams to miss out on a place in the semifinals.
In 2019, Angola defeated Eswatini 5-0 to claim bronze, and both will expect to reach the semifinals again.
It is going to be the battle of the giants between the hosts South Africa and the ever-competitive Zimbabwe, to identify the top two advancing to the next stage.
A place at the continental championships await the two sides that contest the final of the 2020 competition when the CAF Under-17 Cup of Nations is played next year.
Below is the full draw: