Cosafa Cup Group B Preview: Botswana look to continue their dominance over Angola, while Malawi eye a winning start

Muzi Ntombela
The Cosafa Cup will offer several thrills and spills when the likes of Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi begin their campaigns on Monday

On Monday, all eyes will fall on Group B as the Cosafa Cup continues to excite Southern Africa audiences.

Botswana, Angola, Malawi and Mauritius will all lock horns, knowing that victory will hold them in good stead as they work towards a quarterfinal berth against defending champions Zimbabwe.  Botswana and Palancas Negras are arguably the favourites to progress from the group, but the Malawians are not to be written off.

Nonetheless, in the first of two games to be played on the day, Botswana will hope to open their account early as they take on Angola at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Limpopo. This will be the sixth meeting between the two sides and Angola will be wary that they don’t necessarily have the best of records against Botswana.

The Zebras have won two of their five games, never losing to the Angolans. The most recent encounter between the two teams though ended 1-1 after 90 minutes but Botswana would emerge victorious from the penalty spot.

However, Angola will not be too bothered about history, knowing that they have won the regional tournament three times before. But it is also important to note that both teams may opt to use the clash as preparation for their upcoming Africa Nations Cup qualifier where they will meet again later in the year.

Angola coach Srdjan Vasiljevic has already suggested that he is likely to field a young team, while Botswana on the other end will look to rely on their Township Rollers players who have stunned the continent on their run to the Caf Champions League group stages this season.

Meanwhile, in the day’s other action, former Cosafa Cup runner-up Malawi will do battle with Mauritius. This will be the third meeting between the two sides, with the only victory going the way of Malawi. The clash is again expected to go the way of the Flames, but the island nation may have a few tricks up their sleeves, which could make it an interesting clash on Monday evening.

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Malawi boast a six game unbeaten run, but worryingly is the fact that they have only won one of those games, but considering that Mauritius have only won two of their last 10 games, Malawi will be confident going into the game.