Malawi Under 20 national football team has been drawn against hosts Zambia in group A for the third consecutive year of the 2019 Cosafa Youth Championship slated for December 4 to 14 in Lusaka, Zambia.
The draw took place at Southern Sun Hotel in Zambia yesterday. Group A comprise Zambia, Malawi, Comoros and Botswana.
Group B comprises defending champions South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar and Mauritius whereas Group C has Angola, eSwatini, Mozambique and Seychelles.
The Junior Flames will kick start the Cosafa Cup campaign against Comoros at Nkoloma Stadium on December 4 before facing Botswana on December 7 at the same venue.
They will wrap up Group A fixture against hosts Zambia on December 9 at Nkoloma Stadium.
But Junior Flames Assistant Coach, Audlow Makonyola, said he was not scared facing Zambia again.
“It is a tough group but we expected it. The first days of our training have been impressive and we have faith in the boys that this time we will get a good result,” Makonyola said who is an assistant to Peter Mponda.
Malawi started preparations with week ahead of the tournament. Mponda has included majority of players from the TNM Super League.
Some of the players in the squad are Hadji Wali, Hastings Banda, Azizi Mwakifuna, Kingsley Kuwali, Lackson Mtambo, Patrick Ludi, Frank Chizuze, Francisco Madinga Jnr and Walusungu Mdoka.
Former Civo United defender, Willy Chambwinja, said the Junior Flames should exercise caution.
“On paper, it looks like Zambia are the only strong side in the group but we can be surprised by Botswana and Comoros. Our chances of reaching the semifinals are 50-50 so we should prepare thoroughly for the competition,” he said.
For the past three editions, the Junior Flames have failed to go past the group stages of the competition.