With anticipation building ahead of the return of women’s international football in Southern Africa, here are the key statistics ahead of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Championship scheduled for November 3 to 14 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
This will be the fourth year in a row that the competition has been held after a brief hiatus, with South Africa defending the crown once again after a hat-trick of titles in previous years
1 – The number of Cosafa sides that have qualified for the Women’s World Cup. South Africa became the first when they made their debut in France in 2019
1 – Zambia made their maiden appearance in the Cosafa Women’s Championship final in 2019, but lost 1-0 to hosts South Africa. Previously they had finished third at the tournament on three occasions (2002, 2006, 2017).
2 – Namibia (2006) and Angola (2008) have both appeared in the final of the Cosafa Women’s Championship before, but have yet to lift the trophy.
2 – The number of nations who have won the African Women’s Championship. Nigeria have 11 titles and Equatorial Guinea two. Nigeria edged South Africa again in 2018 when they defeated Banyana Banyana on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the final. The 2020 finals were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2 – The number of venues that will be used for the 2019 Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth – the 10,000-seater Wolfson Stadium and the smaller Gelvandale Stadium.
2 – Two Cosafa nations qualified for the 2018 African Women’s Championship in Ghana, namely South Africa and Zambia. South Africa have been runners-up on five previous occasions, while Zambia’s best finish in their three previous visits to the finals was the quarterfinals in 1995.
3 – South Africa will be hosting the Cosafa Women’s Championship for the third time. Zimbabwe (2002, 2011, 2017) have hosted on three previous occasions, with Zambia (2006) and Angola (2008) staging the event once each.
3 – South Africa coach Desiree Ellis has lifted the Cosafa Women’s Championship trophy on three occasions (2017-19), making her the most successful coach in the competition’s history.
6 – South Africa have won the Cosafa Women’s Championship on six previous occasions – 2002, 2006, 2008, 2017, 2018 and 2019. They also made the final in 2011 but lost to hosts Zimbabwe.
6 – The number of Cosafa countries that have competed at the African Women’s Championship in the past – South Africa (12 times), Zimbabwe (four), Zambia (three), Angola (two), Namibia and Mozambique. Associate member Reunion also made an appearance in 2000.
8 – This year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship will be the eighth time the regional showpiece competition has been held.
10 – Zimbabwean hot-shot Rutendo Makore was top-scorer at the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Championship with 10 goals but could not fire her side to a final win. It was a similar story for Zambia’s Racheal Nachula, who also netted 10 times in 2019, but finished with a silver medal.
10 – The number of teams that will compete at the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, East African guest nation Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
12 – South African striker Noko Matlou banged in 12 goals in the 2008 Cosafa Women’s Championship, which helped her lift the Caf Women’s Footballer of the Year prize that season. She is still part of the team but is now a central defender.
17 – The number of goals scored by South Africa when they defeated Comoros 17-0 in their Group A clash in 2019. It is the biggest win in Cosafa Women’s Championship history.
31 – The number of goals scored by South Africa in their three Cosafa Women’s Championship Group B matches in 2002. They beat Botswana (14-0), Mozambique (13-0) and Swaziland (4-0) on their way to the title. It is the most ever scored in the pool stages.
53 – South Africa are the top-ranked side in the Cosafa region according to the Women’s World Rankings at number 53. They are the third-best team in Africa according to the list after Nigeria and Cameroon.
117 – The number of goals scored in 22 matches at the 2019 Cosafa Women’s Championship, a healthy average of over five per game.
159 – The number of national teams on the Women’s World Rankings. A total of 32 of those are from Africa.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo