Saturday, June 15, 2024

Asanovic Finally Joins Chipolopolo’s COSAFA Camp Ahead of Senegal clash

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Coach Aljosa Asanovic has finally joined his Chipolopolo players at the 2022 COSAFA Cup in South Africa after a four-day delay.

It is a sigh of relief for the Zambia camp ahead of Friday night’s semifinal clash against the tournament guest side and 2021 runners-up Senegal at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban where the COSAFA Cup is being held from July 5-17.

Asanovic failed to board the plane on Sunday from Lusaka to Johannesburg because he did not have a South African visa as required by Croatian citizens.

This saw Asanovic miss Chipolopolo’s quarterfinal game against Botswana on July 12 in Durban that ended 1-1 but Zambia won on post-match penalties to advance to Friday’s semifinal meeting against guest side Senegal.

Zambia entered the competition at the quarterfinal stage after enjoying a group stage bye together with Senegal, hosts South Africa and four other highest ranked sides taking part in this year’s edition of the Southern African regional championship.

Asanovic’s local assistant and ex-Zambia international was in charge of the game in the Croat’s absence.

“There is always pressure there in football but I am sure we are ready for the game,” Asanovic said.

Opponents Senegal also advanced to the semifinals by shootouts when they beat eSwatini 10-9 on post-match penalties following a 1-1 result.

“Of course it won’t be easy for us but we are ready especially now that we are in the COSAFA Cup semifinals,” Asanovic said.

“It is a good team, very organized with a good counter attack but we are ready for that and my team will be on a high level.”

The winner will face Namibia or Madagascar in Sunday’s final at Moses Mabhida.

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