Junior Chipolopolo hope to secure semifinal qualify to the 2019 COSAFA U17 Cup tomorrow with a match to spare when they face South Africa in their penultimate Group A game in Blantyre.
Oswald Mutapa’s side made a lightening start at the tournament Malawi is hosting from October 11-20 after a 6-0 win over eSwatini in Blantyre on Saturday.
The victory sent Zambia top of Group A on goal difference ahead of Malawi who beat South Africa 3-0 in the second Group A kickoff.
“We watched them (South Africa) play; they are equally a good side. They had their chances but couldn’t take them. We had a training session looking at the strongest points of the opponents but we will also not neglect our strong points,” Mutapa said.
“We are ready to meet them but we feel tomorrow’s game should make us qualify to the next round.”
South Africa coach Velo Khumalo remains optimistic his charges will rebound on Monday from that stunning loss by the record two-time COSAFA U17 winners to the hosts.
“The stage is set for the boys,” Khumalo said.
“We cannot get intimate because this is the platform for all the U17 teams to build on for the 2021 U17 AFCON qualifiers.
“I didn’t see Zambia’s game but we are analyzing how they are playing and we take it from there.
“But this is a development stage; this is the stage for them to express themselves so we cannot come here and get afraid.”
It is the third successive time Zambia and South Africa will meet at the group stage.
Firstly, Zambia has some revenge on their minds heading into the game after South Africa ended their reign and semifinal hopes at the 2018 tournament when they beat Junior Chipolopolo 2-1 in a crunch Group B match to finish on 7 and 4 points respectively.
Junior Chipolopolo’s last tournament win over South Africa was in 2017 when they beat the latter 3-2 in another Group B match en route to lifting their debut COSAFA U17 crown.