Makoanyane XI must double efforts-Mafoso

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Moorosi Tsiane

MAKOANYANE XI coach Bob Mafoso says his side will need to double its efforts if it is to go beyond the group stages of the 2019 edition of the COSAFA under-20 tournament.

This after the side was drawn in Group B alongside defending champions South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius.

The competition is penned in for Zambia from 4 to 14 December.

Group A is made up of the hosts Zambia, Malawi, Comoros Islands and Botswana while the last group is made up of Angola, Mozambique, eSwatini and Seychelles.

Mafoso said his side is faced with a serious challenge considering the composition of the group where each side has equal chances.

Mafoso told the Sunday Express immediately after the draw that it would be a tough group and his side would need to work hard to qualify for the semi-finals either as winners or runners-up.

“We must work hard to realise our dream because we have an equal chance with the rest of the teams in our group excluding South Africa who are the defending champions,” Mafoso said.

“We can still qualify as the group winners or rather qualify as the best runners up. Only the three group leaders will qualify while the fourth team will be the best runner up.”

He said in as much as they managed to avoid the region’s heavyweights Zambia and Angola, they would still not have an easy outing.

“We avoided Zambia and Angola but we have South Africa in our group. No one can have or would have liked to have them in one group. We must work hard and collect as many points as possible so that when we play South Africa, we would have collected adequate points to help us advance to the semis.”

Mafoso said they were wary of Madagascar who might cause problems considering the form of the country’s senior side.

“They are not a powerhouse but we cannot rule them out because their senior side has been playing well lately and also exporting players to other leagues.

“Madagascar must be doing right with their development. It can’t be a fluke that they are suddenly doing well with their senior team, exporting players to other leagues.

“However, I also think we have a chance to do better this year considering the support that the association has given us. I also want to give the tournament all my attention and I am happy that the boys are also working hard,” Mafoso said.

Makoanyane XI is currently in Botswana for two friendlies with the Botswana under-20 side (one yesterday won 0-2 and one today).

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