Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011 COSAFA Women's Championship News

The Zimbabwe women’s soccer team will be faced with a challenge of beating eight nations to emulate their countrymen, the Warriors, by winning a regional tournament when they host the weeklong 2011 COSAFA Women’s Championships starting in Harare this weekend.

The tournament will be played across two venues in Harare –Gwanzura and Rufaro stadiums - with the hosts facing Lesotho in their opening match in Mbare.

The regional showpiece will have the eight teams split into two groups of four each. Zimbabwe was the seeded side in Group A and is pooled with Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi.

Defending champions South Africa are the seeded team in Group B and they will play against Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania, with the East African side receiving a special invitation from COSAFA to take part in the competition.

Each country will play one another in a round-robin format, with the top two sides in each pool advancing to the semi-finals. The winners in the knockout stages will compete in the Final for the trophy, while the losers will play for bronze in a third-place play-off.

The semi-finals will be played on July 7 at Rufaro Stadium, while the third-place play-off and the final will be on July 9 at the same venue.
The 2011 event will be the fourth time the COSAFA Women’s Championship has been staged. The first was held in Zimbabwe in 2002 and was won by South Africa, who beat their hosts 2-1 in the final. Four years later South Africa’s Banyana Banyana triumphed again at the finals in Zambia, when they beat Namibia 3-1 in the decider.

South Africa made it three in a row when they beat Zimbabwe in the finals of the 2008 tournament in Malange, Angola.

A1 – Zimbabwe
A2 – Lesotho
A3 – Mozambique
A4 – Malawi
Date    Match                                     Venue                         Kick-Off
02/07   Mozambique vs Malawi      Gwanzura Stadium    13h00
02/07   Zimbabwe vs Lesotho                 Rufaro Stadium        15h15
03/07  Lesotho vs Mozambique      Rufaro Stadium        13h00
03/07  Malawi vs Zimbabwe           Rufaro Stadium        15h15
05/07  Malawi vs Lesotho              Rufaro Stadium        15h15
05/07  Zimbabwe vs Mozambique   Gwanzura Stadium    15h15

B1 – South Africa
B2 – Zambia
B3 – Tanzania
B4 – Botswana

Date    Match                                     Venue                         Kick-Off 
02/07   South Africa vs Zambia       Rufaro Stadium        13h00
02/07   Tanzania vs Botswana        Gwanzura Stadium    15h15
03/07  Zambia vs Tanzania            Gwanzura Stadium    13h00
03/07  Botswana vs South Africa    Gwanzura Stadium    15h15
05/07  South Africa vs Tanzania      Gwanzura Stadium    13h00
05/07  Botswana vs Zambia           Rufaro Stadium        13h00

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