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Cosafa assured of last 8 afcon slot

The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) is assured of representation in the last eight of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as two teams from the bloc, Angola and Namibia, clash in the round of 16.

South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, who face Morocco’s Atlas Lions, are the third team from the bloc who have reached the knockout stage at the continental showpiece in Ivory Coast.

In the last edition, Malawi’s Flames and Comoros were the only teams from Cosafa that made  the round of 16 as Zimbabwe’s Warriors were booted out in the group stages.

Angola (in red) in action against Burkina Faso on Tuesday

In separate interviews, former Flames coach Kinnah Phiri, ex-captain Peter Mponda and football analyst Kevin Moyo tipped the Negras of Palancas to make the quarter-finals.

Said Kinnah: “It’s good that this time Cosafa has three teams unlike the previous edition when we had two teams. It shows some progress.

“It’s just unfortunate that two teams from Cosafa will face each other. Nevertheless, the solace is that one of them will sail through.

“Having said that, my take is that Angola will go through because so far, they have been the most solid and consistent team from this region at the tournament.

“The other thing is that South Africa are up against Morocco, who are one of the strongest teams and we can only wish them well.”

On his part, Mponda also tipped Angola to progress.

He said: “A bit tough for South Africa as things stand considering their opponents. But football can give you upsets at times as has been the case with this particular tournament. So, let’s see what happens.

“As for the all-Cosafa affair, unless something happens, Angola are the favourites.

“They proved their worth by topping their group and if they keep up the momentum, they can even reach the last four.”

On the other hand, Moyo said: “Fortunately, Nambia or Angola are guaranteed a place in the quarter finals since they meet in the 16.

“South Africa have an uphill task against favourites Morocco.

“Even Mozambique put up a decent performance as they only lost one of their three matches,which is not bad for a side that was returning to Afcon after so many years. I believe with an ounce of luck, knockout stage.”

In the previous edition, only three teams from Cosafa qualified while this time five made the grade.