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COSAFA Beach Soccer: Seychelles' team heads for championships in SA

Victoria, Seychelles | March 16, 2024, Saturday @ 09:15 in National » SPORT | By: Sedrick Nicette Edited By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3643
COSAFA Beach Soccer: Seychelles' team heads for championships in SA

The Seychelles side played four test matches during a training camp in Dubai. (Seychelles Nation)

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Seychelles' national beach soccer team left the country on Friday and will face Saudi Arabia, Malawi and host South Africa in Group A of the 2023 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championships.

Eight teams are participating in the tournament and Group B features Morocco, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola for championships that will place from March 17 to 23. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.  

Saudi Arabia from the Middle East is the first-ever team from outside the African continent to compete at a COSAFA event.

The tournament will be a further experience for the Seychelles, as the island nation prepares to host the Beach Soccer World Cup in 2025. The Seychellois side will compete for the first time at the event.  

Seychelles failed to make it out of the group stages at the last COSAFA tournament but managed to grab a win, defeating South Africa 3-2, before losing heavily to both Mozambique and Senegal.

Senegal won the 2022 tournament beating Egypt in the final by 5-3.

The pool stage fixtures are scheduled for March 17, 18 and 20, and the semifinals will be played on March 22. The matches for the final and third place will follow the next day.

With Seychelles looking at the tournament as preparations for the World Cup, the country is aiming to improve its performance. Earlier this year, the Seychelles side played four test matches during a training camp in Dubai.

The island nation lost 4-1 to African champions Senegal, 7-1 to Italy, 4-2 against UAE and 10-4 against a mixed selection.

Seychelles is headed by coach Herald Kowlessur, who said that the draw is interesting and his side has prepared and ready to play against any team.

"On paper, our group looks easier, but we will not be underestimating any of our opponents, because every team has trained and will be aiming to win the competition, just like us," said Kowlessur.

He added that his team is ready for the tournament and the target is to get to the final and even win.  

"That is my target and we are going all out with God's grace to make history for Seychelles' beach soccer," added the Seychelles' team coach.

Seychelles hosted the first edition of the tournament in 2015 and it was won by Madagascar. The winner was selected to compete at the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations in 2015, and Madagascar was again the winner.  

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Tags: 2023 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championships

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