Friday, June 14, 2024

The ‘Battle of Zambezi’ continues as Bafana Bafana face stern test

The four nations tourney which is being staged at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium starts this afternoon.

A tourney which has already been dubbed as ‘Best of the Best’ is promising a lot.

While the regional tournament Cosafa Cup usually features under strength squad, this one will see countries call up their European based stars.

Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe and host Zambia presents Southern Africa’s finest footballing giants.

Going by the Cosafa Cup , the four nations have 16 titles with Zimbabwe on 5 while South Africa and Zambia have 4 between them.

The only other country to have won the Cosafa Cup is Namibia and they are not in Ndola.

Jackson Chirwa of Zambia challenged by Liberty Chakoroma of Zimbabwe during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zambia and Zimbabwe at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 09 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

South Africa v Angola – 15h00

The first of Wednesday’s double header will feature two countries boasting of a World Cup appearance.

In addition to that the media hyped Bafana Bafana has an AFCON title.

But in recent years, both countries have had mixed fortunes and they are using this tournament for rebuilding.

Zambia will play for the first time without any members of the AFCON winning side

Zambia v Zimbabwe -18h00

Chipolopolo Boys coach Wedson Nyirenda is the man under pressure after Zambia’s dismissal performance at the CHAN tournament.

Since he took over at the helm of the Chipolopolo, Wada Wada has faced the Warriors three times and is yet to register a win.

Zambia has lost twice against Zimbabwe with that 3-1 bashing in the 2017 Cosafa Cup final still on the back of many Chipolopolo faithful.

A revenge against the Cosafa Champions in the latest edition of the ‘Battle of Zambezi’ will help heal the wounds.

Save for the injured Patson Daka, Nyirenda has a fully strength squad.

With Kennedy Mweene and Stopilla Sunzu left out of the team, Nyirenda is set to call on the experience of captain Ziyo Tembo and Kondwani Mtonga.

Toaster Nsabata is set to start in goal with Simon Silwimba and Bornwell Silengo at full backs.

Either Isaac Shamujompa or Adrian Chama will partner Ziyo in central midfield.

Kondwani and Enock Mwepu will preferred in midfield while Ernest Mbewe and Augustine Mulenga will start on the flanks.

Wada Wada has an option of Fashion Sakala and Emmanuel Banda.

Upfront Justin Shonga and Brian Mwila will lead the line.

Zambia Probable XI: Toaster Nsabata – Simon Silwimba, Ziyo Tembo, Adrian Chama, Bornwell Silengo – Enerst Mbewe, Kondwani Mtonga, Enock Mwepu, Augustine Mulenga – Justin Shonga, Brian Mwila

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