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MBABANE – They reported for national duty on Sunday.

The 2022 Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship gets underway from the last day of this month until September 11. Eswatini’s national team Sitsebe is among the 12 countries that will be in action in the regional soccer showpiece. Sitsebe will face Lesotho in their opening match penned for September 1, 2022, at noon. They then face Namibia on September 4, 2022, followed by the host Group B giants, Zambia’s Copper Queens on September 6, 2022. Sitsebe went into full camp on Sunday at the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Technical Centre in Lobamba. EFA Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe confirmed these developments, saying the final squad list would be finalised upon the approval of the technical team led by head coach Simephi Mamba. “The national team’s preparations are in order and the team is in full camp since Sunday. It is too early to release the final squad but the final list will be announced during the course of the week,” Radebe said.

Meanwhile, Sitsebe failed to qualify for the semifinals in the previous edition and were eliminated in the group stages.  In the last edition, they were in same group as Zambia, Namibia and Uganda. They managed to score a lone goal through Celiwe Nkambule, in their opening match on October 3, 2021, when they lost 1-5 to the Ugandans. Two days later, Namibia celebrated a 2-0 victory at the expense of Sitsebe, who were later shown the exit door by Zambia on September 29, after losing 0-5. They conceded a total of 11 goals with zero points in the bag after their three defeats. This would be the sixth year in a row that the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship has been held and South Africa would be hosting the tournament for the fifth time.

Zimbabwe (2002, 2011, 2017) have hosted the event on three previous occasions, with Zambia (2006) and Angola (2008) staging the event once each. The tournament will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay from August 31-September 11, with African champions South Africa headlining the field. There are three groups in this year’s competition; each comprising of four teams. Only the top nation and the best-placed runner-up advance to the semifinals which will be played on September 9, 2022. Eswatini is in Group B alongside Namibia, Lesotho and Zambia.

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