It is D-Day for Zambia at the 2015 CAF Under-23 Cup on Tuesday when they clash with South Africa in the two sides derby showdown in Group A in Dakar.
Zambia and South Africa head into their penultimate Group A match following 2-1 and 3-1 defeats on Saturday at the hands of Tunisia and hosts Senegal respectively.
A defeat will almost certainly end Zambia’s semifinal dreams and ambitions of making it to their first Olympics since 1988.
Zambia must win on Tuesday to take a vital result into what is expected to be tricky final Group A game against Senegal on Friday.
The top two teams from the two groups of the eight-team tournament advance to the semifinals where Africa’s top three teams to represent the continent at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil will be decided.
And Zambia will be boosted by the arrival on Monday night of midfielder Lubambo Musonda who missed the Tunisia game due to a league commitment with his Armenia club Gandzasar on Sunday.
Lubambo’s arrival could also bring some much-needed creativity to a midfield that lacked a commanding playmaker.
Questions have been raised as to whether Fighton Simukonda should have gambled on inactive Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mukuka Mulenga or Kelvin Mubanga of Power Dynamos who were part of the qualifiers.
Zambia meanwhile, will be without striker Patrick Ngoma who has a leg injury sustained on Saturday while Ronald Kampamba , who scored the lone goal over the weekend, is fit after limping off in that match.