WE have difficult opponents in the group but we will do everything to ensure we advance in the COSAFA Under-20 Championships, says Mozambique coach Victor Matine. Matine has named his final squad for tournament to be staged in Kitwe from December 2-14. The Young Mambas are seeking a first ever regional championship at this age-group level and go into the tournament with high hopes of success.
“We intend this year to improve our performance and ensure that our team goes past the group stages,” Matine said according to COSAFA.
“We are aware that this is not an easy task, considering that we have difficult opponents in the group. We will do everything to ensure we qualify.”
Mozambique open their campaign against Malawi on December 2, the first game of the competition, and then tackle guest nation DR Congo three days later. They close out their pool play against hosts Zambia on December 8 in what could possibly be a pool decider. Mozambique are searching for their first-ever COSAFA Under-20 Championship title having been beaten finalists in 2008.
They lost to then hosts South Africa on that occasion but will be hoping to go one better this time round after disappointingly losing out in the first round of the event in the last six installments. They did narrowly miss out on the semifinals in Botswana in 2011, the hosts just pipping them on goal-difference in a three-team pool that also included Swaziland. And in 2016 they finished their three-team pool with two draws and lost out to DR Congo for a place in the knockout stages.
Last year they returned home early with a single win and two defeats, though they were in a tough pool with eventual champions South Africa and North African guest nation Egypt.
Goalkeepers: Júlio Américo Matavel (Liga Desportiva de Maputo), João Nelson Maronga (Barcelona de Dondo), Simone Emílio Lipanga (Ferroviário das Mahotas)
Defenders: Fidel Hélder de Sousa (Associação Desportiva Black Bulls), Belarmino José Manhiça (Clube de Desportos da Maxaquene), Celton Genito Jumsse (Associação Desportiva de Albazine), Martinho Alberto Thauzene (Associação Desportiva Black Bulls), Jeremias Salda Nhambira (Liga Desportiva de Maputo), Michael Rafael Maposse (Clube de Desportos do Costa do Sol).
Midfielders: Shelton Ismael Benjamin (Ferroviário da Beira), Aly Abudo Zacarias (Sporting da Beira), Thaimo Fernando Samuel (Têxtil do Púnguè), Luís Vasco Sitoe (Ferroviário de Maputo), Leoel Victor Carmelo (Ferroviário da Beira), Kamo Kamo Kelvin Cumbane (Ferroviário de Maputo), José António Lampião (Associação Desportiva Black Bulls).
Forwards: Geny Cipriano Catamo (Associação Desportiva Black Bulls), Adamo Cassimo Allifa (UP Manica), Gulamo Mustafa Salimo (Ferroviário de Pemba), Pablo Fernandes Bechardas (ClubeFC).