SA squad to face Cosafa Group B winners

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The other seeded teams in the tournament, to run from July 17 to August 5, are Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe who fill the top six places on the latest Fifa rankings.

However, the development team will have to face the winners of Group B in the first quarter-final match on July 26 in Witbank.

Group B consists of Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia and tournament newcomers Comoros Islands, all of whom will play in a round robin format before the group winner is determined.

The Comoros are taking part in the competition for the first time becoming the 14th team to join the Cosafa family.

The eight countries that have not been seeded will fight it out for two quarter-final places where they will then meet the seeded teams.

Should Letsoaka’s team overcome the Group B winners they will then meet either Angola or the Group A winners in the semi-finals.

In Group A there is Swaziland, who are joined by island nations Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles.

The group stages of the tournament being staged in Mpumalanga will run from July 19-24 after which the knock-out phase of the competition rises into life.

In the other quarter-finals Zimbabwe will face Zambia while Botswana do battle with Mozambique with the winners meeting in the semi-finals.

The tournament will this year be held in a new format dumping the knock-out format that has been traditionally used when the competition was sponsored by Castle Lager.

South Africa are the defending champions of the regional tournament that they won last year after overcoming Zambia on penalties in Bloemfontein.

The development team which features mostly players from the First Division has recently been on tour in Lesotho.

The fixtures for the Cosafa Senior Challenge, the annual southern African championship, conducted in Nelspruit on Thursday are:

Group A: In Witbank, July 19: Madagascar v Swaziland (15h00) Mauritius v Seychelles (17h30)

In Witbank, July 21: Madagascar v Seychelles (15h00) Mauritius v Swaziland (17h30)

In Witbank, July 23: Madagascar v Mauritius (15h00) Seychelles v Swaziland (17h30)

Group B: In Secunda, July 20: Lesotho v Malawi (15h00) Comoros Islands v Namibia (17h30)

In Secunda, July22: Comoros Islands v Malawi (15h00) Lesotho v Namibia (17h30)

In Secunda, July 24: Malawi v Namibia (15h00) Comoros Islands v Lesotho (17h30)

Quarter-finals In Witbank, July 26: South Africa v Winner Group B (15h00) Angola v Winner Group A (17h30)

In Secunda, July 27: Zambia v Zimbabwe (15h00) Botswana v Mozambique (17h30)

Semifinals: In Thulamahashe, July 30: Winner Quarter-final 1 v Winner Quarter-final 3 (17h30) Winner Quarter-final 2 v Winner Quarter-final 4 (19h30)

Final: In Thulamahashe, August 3 (15h30)

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