It will be a regular COSAFA derby when South Africa takes on Zambia in the Group B second game of Day 1 at the Cairo based Al Salam Stadium on Saturday (9 November 2019). The South African neighbors lock horns in a repeated game from the second edition group stage, when South Africa emerged 3-2 winners at Dakar in December 2015.
South Africa are having their third appearance in the U-23 AFCON, a record shared with Egypt and Nigeria. After an early exit in 2011, they finished third four years ago to reach the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, their only second appearance in the quadrennial multi-sports event after Sydney 2000.
This year, Coach David Notoane brought a team depending majorly on domestic based players, with just three plying their trade abroad. Portugal based duo Luther Singh and Kobamelo Kodisang, and Belgium based forward Lyle Foster hold the hopes of South Africa with the likes of ex- Al Ahly striker Phakamani Mahlambi.
Meanwhile, Zambia are also seeking their third ever Olympic Games appearance, three decades after the class of legend Kalusha Bwalya stunned the world, reaching the 1988 Seoul Olympics quarterfinals, with an infamous 4-0 victory over giants Italy where Bwalya claimed himself a hattrick. Their only other appearance was in Moscow 1980.
Zambia’s experienced Coach Beston Chameshi will be relying on the class of 2017 that led Chipolopolo to the U-20 AFCON title at home. Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepu, Emmanuel Banda and Patson Daka will lead the Zambian hopes in a place in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Saturday 9 November 2019
South Africa v Zambia – Al Salam Stadium (20:00 local time, 18:00 GMT)
What they said
David Notoane (Coach, South Africa)
We know everything about Zambia and this is an advantage for us. The players may be the same but they have grown well between 2017 and now.
Trecious Malepe (Captain, South Africa)
All teams in this tournament are equal. It's an important competition for South African football, which means that we will fight to go as far as possible.
Beston Chambeshi (Coach, Zambia)
Our target is to have a good competition, and we have to start against a very good team which is South Africa. We managed to beat them in 2017 but many things have changed since then. Our goal remains the same, which is nothing but a win.
Emmanuel Banda (Captain, Zambia)
It’s going to be a good match against South Africa. The competition is open for all the teams and everyone can win. It’s always very important to start well. We will do everything it takes to prove how good our team is.