Bafana Bafana will be looking to defend their COSAFA Castle Cup title they won in 2016 when they open their account against the winner of Group A.
The identity of the opponents is still not known as the 2017 edition of the tournament kicks off on Wednesday, 25 June in Rustenburg.
South Africa will face one between Tanzania, Malawi, Mauritius and Angola when they enter the competition in the quarterfinal stage.
That match will be played on Sunday, 2 July at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Kickoff is at 17h00.
Victory for Stuart Baxter’s men will set up a fixture against the winners of the Botswana vs Zambia encounter on Wednesday, 5 July, while a loss will see the hosts face the losers in the clash between the two nations – that match will be played on Tuesday, 4 July at Moruleng Stadium at 17h00.
Should South Africa win the two clashes, they will qualify for the final, which will take place on Sunday, 9 July at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
Bafana Bafana have won this competition on four occassions – 2002, 2007, 2008, 2016.
hat is a record-equalling fourth title as they join Zambia and Zimbabwe at the top of the all-time winners list.
Angola are second with three victories.
After playing in the tournament for the first time in 1998, South Africa only reached the final for the first time in 2002, where they defeated Malawi 4-1 on aggregate in a two-legged final.
Their next success in the tournament came five years later as they bagged back-to-back gold medals.
In 2007 they beat Zambia 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time. The match took place in Bloemfontein.
The following year they brushed off Madagascar 2-1 to claim victory in Mpumalanga.
After some barren years, they reclaimed their title in 2016 using the u23 National Team that was preparing for the Rio Olympic Games. South Africa deposed of Botswana 3-2 in the final played in Rustenburg.
Bafana Bafana scored two goals from the penalty spot – both by Gift Motupa – while South Africa profited from two penalties in the decider, both scored by Gift Motupa, while Thabiso Kutumela bagged the third one. Botswana replied through Onkabetse Makgantai and Kabelo Seakanyeng.
COSAFA CUP FACT FILE:
- Zambia are the inaugural champions after winning the title in 1997
- South Africa has won the tournament four times (2002, 2007, 2008, 2016) – a record held together with Zambia and Zimbabwe
- This year will see 13 of the 14 COSAFA nations present in South Africa
- Comoros Islands will not participate and have been replaced by East African guest nation Tanzania – they return for a third shot at glory after previously competing in 1997 and 2015
- The 13 COSAFA nations taking part are: South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Seychelles, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland
- The format of the competition will remain the same as previous years, with the eight lowest ranked sides according to past COSAFA Castle Cup performance taking part in the first round
- They are split into two pools, each containing four sides, with the top team in each group advancing to the quarterfinals after the round-robin stage
- Tanzania, Malawi, Mauritius and Angola are in Group A, while Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Seychelles are in Group B
- There they will join the six other sides in the field as the tournament continues in a knockout format – the six sides are South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland
- The losers in the quarterfinals drop into the Plate competition.
SOUTH AFRICA RESULTS IN THE COSAFA CUP:
|24-1-98||Windhoek||NAMIBIA||2-3||Mooki, P Masinga|
|31-7-99||Windhoek||NAMIBIA||1-1||Ndlanya (Lost 4-1 penalties)|
|29-4-00||Phokeng||MAURITIUS||3-0||Mayo pen, Sapula, Nomvete|
|29-4-01||Maputo||MOZAMBIQUE||3-0||Ndlanya, Nhleko, Mazibuko|
|30-3-02||Gaborone||BOTSWANA||0-0||(Won 5-4 on penalties)|
|21-7-02||PE||MADAGASCAR||0-0||(Won 4-1 on penalties)|
|24-8-02||Polokwane||SWAZILAND||4-1||T Mokoena 2, Pule pen, Fredericks|
|21-9-02||Blantyre||MALAWI||3-1||Mayo 2, Kauleza|
|26-1-05||Curepipe||SEYCHELLES||3-0||Mphela 2, Chabangu|
|13-8-05||Mmabatho||ZAMBIA||2-2||Ndlela, Raselemane (lost 9-8 on penalties)|
|21-5-06||Gaborone||BOTSWANA||0-0||(Lost 6-5 on penalties)|
|26-5-07||Somhlolo||MALAWI||0-0||(Won 5-4 on penalties)|
|24-10-07||Bloemfontein||ZAMBIA||0-0||(Won 4-3 on penalties)|
|28-10-09||Harare||ZIMBABWE||1-1||Bacela (lost 3-2 on penalties)|
|17-7-13||Ndola||ZAMBIA||0-0||(Lost 5-3 on penalties)|
|24-5-15||Moruleng||BOTSWANA||0-0||(Lost 7-6 on penalties)|
|27-5-15||Moruleng||MALAWI||0-0||(Lost 5-4 on penalties)|
|18-6-16||Windhoek||LESOTHO||1-1||Motupa (won 4-2 on penalties)|
|22-6-16||Windhoek||SWAZILAND||5-1||Kutumela, Phiri, Masuku (2), Moseamedi|
|25-6-16||Windhoek||BOTSWANA||3-2||Motupa (2) pen, Kutumela|
SOUTH AFRICA COSAFA CUP RECORD
SOURCED from the SAFA website.