2017 COSAFA Castle Cup: Zambia v Tanzania Preview

Our football writer analyses the COSAFA Castle Cup semifinals which take place on Wednesday night.

Zambia lock horns with Tanzania in a mouth-watering semi-final which takes place on Wednesday evening. They both go into the encounter on the back of incredible wins against their respective quarterfinal opponents.

Zambia are among the top eight ranked Cosafa teams, therefore, they didn’t have to go through the play-off stage. In the last eight, they beat Botswana 2-1. On the other hand, Tanzania’s route to the penultimate stage of the competition has been a long one. After topping their play-off group, they beat South Africa 1-0 in the quarterfinal to make it into the last four.

Zambia v Tanzania | Wednesday 05 July | Moruleng Stadium | 17:00

To Win (90 Mins)
Zambia 27/20| Draw 21/10| Tanzania 43/20

Alongside South Africa and Zimbabwe, Zambia are the most successful team in the tournament – having lifted the trophy four times. Coach Wedson Nyirenda has opted for a squad that is made up of predominantly locally based players. Only one player plies his trade abroad. That is Polokwane City’s Salulani Phiri.

Ahead of the tournament, Zambia recorded a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over South Africa in an international friendly. They then knocked out Botswana in the last eight of this very competition.
Nyirenda should also be applauded for giving youngsters Solomon Sakala, Moses Nyondo and Boston Muchindu, who were part of the Under 20 team that won the 2015 Afcon Championships, a chance to be with the senior team.

With the odds stacked against them, Tanzania topped their group which featured the likes of Tanzania, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi to qualify for the last eight. In the quarterfinals, they surprisingly beat South Africa 1-0 to reach this stage of the tournament.

In the four games they’ve played in the tournament so far they’ve conceded only one goal, which highlights the strength of their defence. They have scored four goals in that period, which is an average of a goal per match.

They have won two of those for games. The other two ended in draws. They are yet to suffer a defeat at this year’s spectacle. Talk about the surprise team of the tournament.

Verdict: Tanzania Win 43/20
This will be a tough match between two good sides who will be looking to get into the final. I reckon Tanzania will once again shock the world and progress to the ultimate stage.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for @Hollywoodbets.net

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