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South Africa v Zambia Match Preview, 24/03/2018

FT
2 - 0
RSA
ZAM
P. Tau (15)
L. Mothiba (90+1)
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
South Africa - Zambia Preview: Bafana look to end the four-nation tournament on a high
1:01 AM MYT 24/03/2018
Andile Jali of South Africa challenged by Justin shonga of Zambia
Bafana Bafana are set to take on Chipolopolo in the final of the four-nation tournament on Saturday

The South African national senior men’s team, Bafana Bafana will once again be in action on Saturday evening as they look to build on their recent victory over Angola in the final of the four-nation tournament.

Bafana Bafana needed penalties to overcome Palancas Negras on Wednesday afternoon, but this time around, the going only gets tougher as Stuart Baxter’s men have a date with an impressive Zamban side at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Chipolopolo too had to fend off a stubborn Zimbabwe in the lottery of a penalty shootout to set up what will be the 12th meeting between the two sides.

Baxter will certainly be aware of his side’s rather poor record in the fixture as Bafana have lost six of their previous 11 meetings, which could see the technical team once again opt to give several of the younger players a run.

Players such as Lebo Mothiba, Phakamani Mahlambi, Ryan Moon and Siphesihle Ndlovu among others impressed in the encounter against Angola, but Baxter has hinted that he might field a completely changed starting XI.

“The team that will play in the final will be a completely different team, it will be 11 different players,” Baxter told the media.

Nonetheless, more experienced players such as Percy Tau and Kamohelo Mokotjo may be given a run after missing out on the midweek game, and they will add some much-needed stability against a Zambian team with an abundance of talent at its disposal.

But an advantage that Bafana have ahead of the clash is their familiarity with many of Zambia’s star names.

The likes of Justin Shonga, who scored in the win over the Warriors and Augustine Mulenga are both on the books of Orlando Pirates in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) which could mean that Bafana know what to expect from the Zambian’s attack.

The last time these two neighbouring nations met in an international friendly was back in 2017 where Zambia edged out Bafana 2-1 on the day. Lebogang Manyama opened the scoring, but the Turkish-based midfielder will not be a thorn in Zambia’s plans this time around as he is not among Baxter’s travelling squad.

Nonetheless, the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations champions will need to be wary of a Zambian team that has been on the rise in recent times, especially as they have been involved in the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan), which they knocked out the South Africans in order to qualify for the tournament.

Zambia went on to make the quarterfinals of the said tournament, but would eventually crash out at the expense of Sudan’s progression, this could mean that the Zambian team could have a strong domestic look to it as coach Wedson Nyirenda looks to build on their recent success.  

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RSA
ZAM