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Brave Warriors date Bafana Bafana for Cosafa Cup opener

THE national soccer team, the Brave Warriors, open their account in the Confederation of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) tournament with their archrivals South Africa today.

The match kicks off at18h00 at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban.
Bafana Bafana come into the match bubbling with confidence from their recent qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations pencilled in for Ivory Coast early next year.

The South Africans are also enjoying top-ranking status in the Cosafa bloc where they are ranked 62 in the world and 12 on the African continent. Namibia are now ranked 112 on the global stage and 26 on the continent.

Bafana Bafana have enjoyed the upper hand when it comes to the Cosafa Cup, with the host nation having four wins and two draws against Namibia. Brave Warriors Cosafa Cup debutant Devin Somseb said: “It’s my first time and I’m proud that the more experienced and professional players have set a good example in the camp. They’re motivating us in terms of how to behave on and off the field and on what aspect of the game we can improve.

“They keep encouraging us to continue working hard as it will pay off eventually.”

Namibia had an impressive campaign last year, losing to now defending champions Zambia by a solitary goal. Zambia is now ranked 84th on the Fifa world ranking and 16th on the CAF rankings.

With Namibia’s Brave Warriors awaiting the outcome of Cameroon vs Burundi in September to find out if that outcome will have them qualify for the continental showpiece, head coach Collin Benjamin listed potential upsetters for this year’s edition.

With the exclusion of evergreen Peter Shalulile and Deon Hotto, Brave Warriors’ technical team called up eight foreign-based players who will be complemented by local top-notch players who did very well for their respective clubs in the revived Debmarine Premiership.

Meanwhile, the latest Fifa world rankings are out ahead of the 2023 HOLLYWOODBETS Cosafa Cup that will be staged in Durban, South Africa, from 5 to 16 July.

They will play in group A in Durban alongside Namibia (112 in the world, 26 in Africa), who are third on the Cosafa list, Eswatini (146, 43) and Botswana (147, 44).

Namibia will take on Eswatini on 8 July at 18h00 and their last group match is against Botswana on 11 July. All matches will take place at 18h00.

Zambia’s Group B rivals are Malawi (126, 35), Comoros (130, 38) and Seychelles (196, 52).

Angola are the highest ranked side in group C, though only just, as they sit at 114 in the world and 27 in Africa.

Just behind them are Mozambique (117, 28), followed by Lesotho (152, 46) and Mauritius (180, 48). The Fifa world rankings will also be important for the draw for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers that is due to take place on 12 July and will be used to seed the teams.

Only the top team in each pool at the Cosafa Cup advances to the semi-finals, along with the best
-placed runner-up.