Rwanda U20 team, Junior Wasps, have been drawn against Mozambique and Comoros Islands in Pool D in the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championship draws held on Wednesday in Moruleng in South Africa.
Rwanda who were invited to replace Madagascar, will be making her maiden appearance at the South African youth tournament set to run from December 7-16, bringing together the best young talent from the Southern African region.
Amavubi head coach Jimmy Mulisa will handle the Rwanda U-20 side that has also been invited for the inaugural Morocco 1st Partners tournament set for November 9-13.
“This is going to be a very good opportunity for the U-20 players because more games means that they will get more exposure and more confidence going forward,” said Mulisa who recently guided Rwanda to a 1-all draw in their last Afcon 2017 qualifier against Ghana in Accra.
Meanwhile, hosts and defending champions South Africa will have their work cut out in the defense of their title as they take on neighbours Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana in Group A.
With only the top team in each pool to advance to the semifinals, there will also be an early exit for one of the region’s heavyweights as Group B contains Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, three teams who might all consider themselves contenders for the title.
Group C contains Angola, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius.
The teams will play each other in a round-robin format with the top sides from each pool advancing to the semifinals.
One twist is that the top teams in Groups B and D after the second round of matches will play a third game as a crossover fixture between those two pools, to ensure that most competing sides get to play three times.
The top team in Group B will play the second team in Group D and vice versa.
The group matches start on December 7 and will be completed on December 13. The semifinals will take place a day later, before the remaining teams enjoy a rest day.
The third-place play-off and final of the competition will both be played on December 16, which is a public holiday in South Africa.
The matches will be played at two venues, the Mogwase Stadium and Moruleng Stadium, with the latter being used exclusively from the semifinals onwards.