Can Chipolopolo de-island Madagascar?

 Can Chipolopolo de-island Madagascar?

Beston Chambeshi, coach of Zambia during the 2017 Total Zambia U-20 African Cup of Nations Final match between Zambia and Senegal at Heroes National Stadium, Lusaka Zambia on 12 March 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Zambia National soccer team will be facing Madagascar in the COSAFA cup semifinals tomorrow Saturday 17:00 hrs.

Madagascar has never had better history against Chipolopolo but football has evolved in the recent past where underdogs are pulling big surprises.

Chipolopolo under caretaker coach Beston Chambeshi will be working to book a spot in the June 9 finals at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Madagascar dumped the COSAFA Cup hosts South Africa 4-3 on post-match penalties after a 0-0 fulltime result.

South Africa were ill-fated not to put the contest to bed within the 90 minutes thanks to Madagascar goalkeeper Jean Randrianasolo who denied ex-Under-20 striker Luther Singh in the 12th minute and Lebohang Maboe in the 34th minute.

Aubrey Modiba then hit the Madagascar post in the 63rd minute before the tie was settled on the shootouts.

South Africa led the shootout count by 3-1 but a miss by Jamie Webber handed Madagascar a chance to rally when Andoniaina Andrianavalona, Jean Baggio, including their star man Andrianamirado Hasina converted for the Islanders.

Singh then paid the price for a casual spot-kick before Bakary Mario scored the clincher to send Madagascar to their debut COSAFA Cup semifinal appearance.

This will also be Zambia and Madagascar’s debut COSAFA Cup meeting and their first in over 17 years.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will face Lesotho in the second semifinal on Wednesday after they were tested by Botswana to finish 1-1 at fulltime.

But the defending champions’ goalkeeper George Chigova was in inspired form who made three post-match penalty saves to win 4-1 in the shootout.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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