Zambia on Sunday begin their quest for an unprecedented fifth Cosafa Castle Cup title when they face Namibia in a quarterfinal tie at Moruleng Stadium in South Africa.
The defending champions enter the fray of the competition in the last eight after enjoying a preliminary group stage bye.
Zambia face a Namibia side that deservedly earned its quarterfinal place after a one hundred percent run to finish top of Group A on 9 points.
The highlight of Namibia’s campaign at the ongoing tournament in South Africa saw them eliminate four-time champions Zimbabwe 4-1 in convincing fashion at the same venue last Thursday to book a date with Zambia.
Zambia coach Honour Janza said he is certainly not taking Namibia for granted.
“Namibia want to show that they are a team to reckon with. They is something at stake that they are fighting for,” Janza said.
“It is not going to be an easy game but we will ensure that we will take the game to them.
Janza has taken a strong side for the competition with goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, defender Emmanuel Mbola, midfielders Mukuka Mulenga and Kondwani Mtonga leading a high-profile lineup for the four-time champions.
Meanwhile, Zambia have never lost to Namibia in the Cosafa Cup where they hold a record of one win and two draws against the latter.
That win was in the two sides last Cosafa Cup meeting also at the quarterfinal stage that Zambia won 1-0 in Harare thanks to a late goal from Stopilla Sunzu in November, 2009.
Winner will face victor of the quarterfinal match between Ghana and Madagascar in the semifinals on May 28 at Moruleng.
The loser will be relegated to the Plate category semifinals on May 27.
And Sunday’s game will also be the first of two between Namibia and Zambia over the coming four weeks ahead of their June 20 meeting in a 2016 CAF African Nations Championship first round, first leg qualifier in Windhoek.