Mozambique and Zimbabwe will meet in the opening Group B clash in the 2017 Cosafa Cup on Monday 26 June at Moruleng Stadium, kick-off at 17h00 CAT.
With minnows Madagascar and Seychelles the other two teams in the pool, this clash between the Mambas and the Warriors is seen as a key clash in deciding who will top the pool and advance to the quarterfinals.
Mozambique have never won the Cosafa Cup, but they have been runners-up twice (2008 & 2015). In last year’s tournament in Namibia they were beaten 1-0 in the quarterfinals guest side DR Congo and went on to lose 3-0 at the hands of the hosts in the Plate semifinals.
Zimbabwe are tied with Zambia and South Africa as the Cosafa Cup’s most successful side, having won the competition four times (2000, 2003, 2005 & 2009).
In the 2016 edition of the tournament they were surprisingly ousted in the group stage when they finished behind Swaziland and failed to progress to the knockout stages – this despite not losing any of their three matches.
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa has named a strong squad which includes South African-based stars such as George Chigova, Eric Chipeta, Mitchell Katsvairo and the exciting Knox Mutizwa, as well as players from the country’s domestic league.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique have met in three previous Cosafa Cup clashes, with the Warriors claiming victory in all of them and scoring seven goals without reply.
The other Group B match at Moruleng Stadium on Monday sees Madagascar take on Seychelles at 19h30 CAT.