COSAFA Cup: Final Round Preview



Our football writer previews the COSAFA Cup Finals for both the main tournament and the Plate Section as well as the Third Place play-off.

The ultimate stage of the Cosafa Castle Cup is upon us and every football fanatic is patiently waiting for a thrill-packed weekend. South Africa locks horns with Namibia, Tanzania go head-to-head with Lesotho and Zambia square off with Zimbabwe.

Friday 07 July

Cosafa Cup Plate Section Final

South Africa 9/20 | Draw 3/1 | Namibia 7/1
After a shock elimination by Tanzania from the main tournament, South Africa managed to beat Botswana 2-0 in the Plate semi-final to progress to this stage. There’s no better way to redeem themselves than to win what’s left to play for. The so-called fringe players have played a couple of games together now and they’re starting to gel.

Namibia have played two games so far, losing the first one to be relegated to the plate section in which they won the semi-final to set up the ultimate showdown with South Africa. Zambia have only scored one goal in those two games. Based on quality, my money is on South Africa to win at 9/20!

Cosafa Cup Third Place Play-Off

Tanzania  | Draw | Lesotho *Odds to be added upon release
Tanzania’s fairytale in the tournament has come to an abrupt end. After going through the qualification stage by topping their group and beating the hosts, South Africa in the quarterfinals, they were knocked out of the tournament by Zambia who beat them 4-2. Having to play five games in the tournament has given the players a lot of time together and they now understand each other.

Lesotho were on the losing side of a seven-goal thriller against Zimbabwe which ended 4-3. Before that encounter, they beat Namibia 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw. Tanzania will be too strong for Lesotho. They will claim third place.

Sunday 9 July

Zambia 21/20 | Draw 22/10 | Zimbabwe 11/4
Zambia are playing like a well-oiled machine. Their two victories to reach the final were convincing. They beat Botswana 2-1 in the quarterfinals and hammered Tanzania 4-2 in the semis. Coach Wedson Nyirenda should be applauded for being able to phase in four youngsters who were part of the 2015 Under 20 Afcon winning side and still be able to compete.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe have brought an equally good side into the tournament. A bulk of their players ply their trade in South Africa. AmaZulu striker, Ovivy Karuru is the tournament’s leading goalscorer with six strikes to his name. Zimbabwe’s passage to the final has been an intriguing one. They had to go through the qualification stage in which they topped their group. They beat Swaziland 2-1 in the quarterfinals and Lesotho 4-3 in the semifinals. In the competition so far they’ve played five games, winning four and drawing two. This will be a tightly contested final but Zimbabwe will triumph in the end.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for @Hollywoodbets.net

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