Thursday Jun 17, 2021. 13:43
COSAFA Cup holders Chipolopolo Zambia have been drawn in Group B against two 2021 AFCON finalists.
The defending champions will play AFCON-bound Malawi including Comoros who will be making their tournament debut in Cameroon.
Madagascar completes Group B for this year’s tournament that South Africa will host at Nelson Mandela Bay from July 7-18 .
The tournament also returns twenty four months later after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Malawi and Zambia are set to renew acquaintances so early at the COSAFA Cup after Chipolopolo beat The Flames 4-2 on post-match penalties following a 4-4 fulltime draw in the 2019 quarterfinals in Durban en route to lifting their fifth COSAFA Cup crown.
The Flames’ last COSAFA Cup victory over Chipolopolo was in the 2015 Plate final that they won 1-0 in Rustenburg.
In the other Group B match-up, Zambia will face Madagascar for the first time since the 2018 edition in Polokwane that Chipolopolo won 1-0 in the semifinals on their way to finishing second to record six -time winners Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo and Comoros are set for their debut senior meeting at the COSAFA Cup.
But Zambia and Comoros last crossed swords in the 2012 AFCON Group C qualifiers that Chipolopolo won 2-1 away in Moroni on September 4, 2011.
That result came exactly a year after their debut meeting that Zambia won 4-0 at home in Lusaka on September 5, 2010.
This year’s COSAFA Cup will have no group stage byes and will see the three group winners and best second placed since in the twelve-team tournaments earn their way to the semifinals.