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Mozambique’s Ezequiel steps in as Edmilson Dove’s replacement at COSAFA Cup 2024

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Victor Matine, head coach of Mozambique’s national football team, has made a crucial adjustment to his squad for the ongoing 2024 COSAFA Cup in South Africa. Following the withdrawal of central defender Edmilson Dove, Ferroviário de Maputo’s Ezequiel has been swiftly called up to join the Mambas in Port Elizabeth.

Ezequiel, a defensive midfielder by trade, has been drafted into the national team roster at short notice.

His inclusion comes after Edmilson Dove was prevented from participating in the competition by his club, Kaizer Chiefs, located in Johannesburg.

The Mozambican Football Federation (FMF) is currently awaiting formal confirmation from COSAFA regarding Ezequiel’s eligibility to compete in the tournament.

Edmilson Dove’s absence marks a significant setback for Mozambique.

Despite initially being with the team in Port Elizabeth, Dove had to return to Johannesburg following Kaizer Chiefs’ decision not to release him.

This development was communicated by the FMF on Wednesday, despite their efforts since June 19 to secure his participation through formal requests to his club.

Mozambique’s next challenge in the COSAFA Cup will be against Eswatini on Saturday, marking the second match of Group A. In their tournament opener, the Mambas secured a 1-1 draw against host nation South Africa.

The replacement of Edmilson Dove with Ezequiel is viewed as a strategic maneuver by the Mozambican team as they aim to advance further in the competition.

Ezequiel’s versatility and defensive prowess bring a tactical advantage to Mozambique.

Known for his solid performances at Ferroviário de Maputo, his late inclusion underscores the team’s adaptation to unforeseen circumstances.

The coaching staff, led by Victor Matine, believes Ezequiel’s presence will bolster the squad’s defensive stability and contribute to their overall strategy moving forward.

As Mozambique continues its campaign in the COSAFA Cup, Ezequiel’s role will be closely watched.

His ability to seamlessly integrate into the team dynamics and contribute effectively could prove pivotal in their quest for success in one of Africa’s prestigious regional tournaments.

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