Flames have been drawn in Group B of the 2022 Cosafa Men’s Senior Cup slated to take place from July 5- 17 in Durban, South Africa.
The draw, which took place at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday morning saw Malawi drawn alongside Lesotho, Eswatini and Mauritius.
A total of 14 teams are expected to take part in the tournament. Group A comprises Angola, Seychelles, Botswana, and Comoros Islands.
The top team in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Group B winner will face guest nation Senegal in the quarterfinals while Zambia await Group A winner.
Holders South Africa date neighbours Mozambique while Namibia will face Madagascar.
Losing quarterfinalists will drop into the Plate competition. Head of Technical Marian Mario Marinica is expected to give a bulk of youngsters a chance during this year’s tournament as part of preparations for Chan and Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Marinica said : “It’s a relative well-balanced draw. We must think that all other the opponents have their chances. Countries like Lesotho recently gave Ivory Coast tough time and at the same time Eswatini managed to get results against Mozambique twice. So, everyone has their chances.
“We must look at having a strong squad but again look on the building phase of the national team. Recently we brought in youngsters like Alick Lungu and Blessing Mpokera and others. As any tournament it is important for several reasons. It gives your players experience. It is an opportunity for several players to showcase their skills.”
The Flames exited the 2021 edition held in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in the group stages following two losses to Senegal, Mozambique and two draws to Zimbabwe and Namibia.