Angola have withdrawn from the 2019 Cosafa Cup with the Palancas Negras citing the need to complete their league season and preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations as their reasons.
The short notice has placed Cosafa Cup organisers in a tight spot and despite canvassing far and wide across the continent for a replacement, the timeframe simply did not allow for a new participant, with the tournament set to get under way in Durban this weekend.
It means that this year’s Group A will have three teams, eSwatini, Mauritius and Comoros Islands, giving one of those sides an excellent opportunity to reach the quarter-finals and set up a date with defending champions Zimbabwe on June 1.
The change has also forced a revision of the fixture list, with the Cosafa Cup now set to kick-off with a clash between eSwatini and Mauritius at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
eSwatini will then tackle Comoros on May 27 before Group A is completed with a match between Comoros and Mauritius two days later. Both those matches will be at King Zwelithini Stadium.
Three-time winners Angola have missed two previous Cosafa Cup tournaments, the very first one in 1997 and also in 2015.
2019 Cosafa Cup updated fixtures
DATE KO Group Fixture Venue
25/05 16h30 A eSwatini vs Mauritius King Zwelithini
26/05 14h00 B Mozambique vs Namibia King Zwelithini
26/05 16h30 B Malawi vs Seychelles King Zwelithini
27/05 17h00 A eSwatini vs Comoros King Zwelithini
28/05 15h00 B Seychelles vs Mozambique King Zwelithini
28/05 17h30 B Namibia vs Malawi King Zwelithini
29/05 17h30 A Comoros vs Mauritius King Zwelithini
30/05 17h30 B Mozambique vs Malawi King Zwelithini
30/05 17h30 B Namibia vs Seychelles Princess Magogo
Date KO Match Fixture Venue
01/06 15h00 13 Lesotho vs Uganda Princess Magogo
01/06 17h30 14 Zimbabwe vs Winner Grp A Princess Magogo
02/06 15h00 15 South Africa vs Botswana Princess Magogo
02/06 17h30 16 Zambia vs Winner Grp B Princess Magogo
04/06 17h00 17 Loser M13 vs Loser M15 Moses Mabhida
04/06 19h30 18 Loser M14 vs Loser M16 Moses Mabhida
05/06 17h00 19 Winner M13 vs Winner M15 Moses Mabhida
05/06 19h30 20 Winner M14 vs Winner M16 Moses Mabhida
07/06 17h00 21 Winner M17 vs Winner M18 Moses Mabhida
Cup third-place play-off
07/06 19h30 22 Loser M19 vs Loser M20 Moses Mabhida
08/06 15h00 23 Winner M19 vs Winner M20 Moses Mabhida. The Chronicle