Wangu Gome of Namibia challenged by Prichard Mpelele of Zimbabwe during the 2015 Cosafa Cup match between Namibia and Zimbabwe at the Moruleng Stadium, Rustenburg on the 21 May 2015 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Friday May 29, 2015. 14:15
There will be a first-time Cosafa Cup champion crowned on Saturday when Namibia and Mozambique meet for the 2015 tournament’s final at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, kick-off at 17h30 CAT.
Namibia are returning to the final of the regional championship for the first time since runners-up finishes in 1997 and 1999, while Mozambique’s only previous appearance in the championship game was in 2008 when they lost to South Africa.
The Brave Warriors have enjoyed a remarkable run in 2015, first topping Group A ahead of the more favoured Zimbabwe, before defeating reigning champions Zambia on penalties in the quarterfinals and edging surprise packages Madagascar 3-2 in the first semifinal.
The Mambas’ run to the final has been shorter (they were not involved in the group stage), but no less dramatic: they needed penalties to see off the Flames of Malawi after playing to a 2-2 draw in the quarterfinals, before a last-minute goal saw them to a 2-1 win over Botswana in the second semi.
Namibia and Mozambique have met in 12 official international matches according to FIFA statistics, with the former claiming four wins compared to three for the latter. Five matches have ended all-square, so a penalty shootout to decide the Cosafa Cup would be no surprise given the teams’ head-to-head history.
Their most recent meeting was a goalless draw in a friendly in Windhoek in November 2013, while they also clashed in the semifinals of the Plate section of the 2013 Cosafa Cup, with Mozambique winning 1-0.
The winners will claim their maiden Cosafa Cup title, joining Zambia, Zimbabwe (both four-time champions), South Africa and Angola (three tiles each) on the competition’s honours board.