The 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup kicks off on June 11 in Namibia. This year 14 teams will take part in the Southern Africa showpiece with the Democratic Republic of Congo a guest contender for the first time.
Here are the numbers behind a tournament that began in 1997.
|Defending champions Namibia will host the 2016 COSAFA|
Castle Cup from June 11 to 25
The COSAFA Cup in numbers:
1 – Namibia’s triumph at the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup was their first in the competition and made them just the fifth country to lift the title in all. This year will also be the first time that Namibia is hosting the COSAFA Castle Cup.
1 – This year will see the Democratic Republic of Congo compete in the COSAFA Castle Cup for the first time in their history. They take the place of the Comoros Islands, who opted not to compete, as a guest nation.
2 – The number of away wins for Mauritius in their previous 18 COSAFA Castle Cup matches on the road since their first participation in 2000. They beat Seychelles 4-0 in Zambia in 2013 and the same opposition 1-0 in South Africa last year.
3 – Striker Jerome Ramatlhakwane is the only player from Botswana to net a hat-trick in the COSAFA Castle Cup. He did so against Lesotho in 2013. He also scored in the next game, a 2-1 loss to guest nation Kenya, which made him the leading scorer at that year’s tournament in Zambia.
4 – The number of titles won by Zimbabwe and Zambia, the most in the competition’s history. The Warriors triumphed in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009, while Zambia won in 1997, 1997, 2006 and 2013. Angola and South Africa have each won three times in the past to hold joint-second on the list.
4 – Aside from their four tournament wins, Zambia has also finished runners-up on four occasions, more than any other nation. All of those runners-up medals came between 2004 and 2009.
5 – Only five countries have won the COSAFA Castle Cup: Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
|The DR Congo will make its first #CosafaCup appearance|
5 – The disproportionately high number of own goals scored in Malawi’s favour in their COSAFA Castle Cup history, three times by Angola (Moises, Fernando & Ito), once by Zimbabwe (Nyamupanedengu) and once by Namibia (Tjihero).
5 – The number of goals scored by Madagascar forward Sarivahy Vombola at the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup, which saw him finish as top-scorer at the tournament in South Africa.
6 – The number of goals scored by Mozambique veteran striker Tico-Tico Bucuane in the COSAFA Castle Cup, more than any other player for The Mambas. His first was in 1997 and the last in 2004.
7 – The Seychelles stunned Mauritius 7-0 in the 2008 COSAFA Castle Cup, which remains to this day the biggest ever margin of victory in the competition. It also remains the only ever victory for the island nation in the competition, having played 16 games so far.
7 – The excellent haul of points for Swaziland in the 2015 COSAFA Castle Cup pool stages, yet they still exited in the first round on goal-difference behind Madagascar. Swaziland defeated Tanzania (1-0) and Lesotho (2-0), before drawing 1-1 with the Malagasy.
9 – The number of nations that appeared in the first ever COSAFA Castle Cup. There will be 14 at this year’s event in Namibia.
12 – The number of matches it took before Zambia finally lost a COSAFA Castle Cup match. The team won the first two competitions were eventually beaten 1-0 by Angola in 1999. In all they have lost just six of their 45 matches in the COSAFA Castle Cup, the best record of any nation.
30 – The number of wins managed by Zimbabwe in their COSAFA Castle Cup history, more than any other country.
45 – The number of matches played by Zambia and Zimbabwe in the history of the COSAFA Castle Cup, the most by any side.
|Litšepe Marabe in action in 2013 when Lesotho reached the semis|
72 – The number of goals scored by Zimbabwe in the history of the COSAFA Castle Cup, the most by any side.
1997 – The first year the tournament was staged, with Zambia ending as inaugural winners.
1999 – The year in which Angola won their first COSAFA Castle Cup title claiming the title in Windhoek. They beat Namibia over two legs, with the second match finishing in a 1-1 draw in Windhoek to give the Angolans a 2-1 aggregate success.
2000 – Lesotho made the final of the COSAFA Castle Cup in 2000, but lost both legs of the decider 3-0 to Zimbabwe to go down 6-0 on aggregate. That is their only final appearance to date.
2008 – The year South Africa completed a rare feat – winning back-to-back COSAFA Castle Cup titles. Only inaugural winners Zambia (1997 and 1998) have managed to do the same.