Thendo Mukumela of South Africa challenged by Ammar Taifour of Sudan during the 2017 Total Zambia U-20 African Cup of Nations match between Sudan and South Africa at Heroes National Stadium, Lusaka Zambia on 05 March 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Monday Mar 06, 2017. 16:30
The South African U20 side will target a win over Zambia on Wednesday to ensure they reach the finals of the 2017 U20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Amajita have had a good run in the tournament so far having finished as number two in Group - they beat Cameroon and Sudan, but lost to Senegal.
Coming to this match, Thabo Senong's men are aware that facing the hosts is a tough task, but they will be motivated by their two wins in the group stages.
Amajita will also be targeting a win to avenge the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup loss in the final in South Africa against the same Junior Chipolopolo last December.
Having finished as number two behind the Young Lion of Teranga, means the South Africans have booked a spot at this year's U20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea as well
On the other hand, Senong will have to rectify their defensive errors as they managed to concede six goals in the group phase.
“Well done to Sudan, but we had to win today,” Senong said.
“This win, qualifying for the CAF U-20 AFCON semi-finals and the FIFA U-20 World Cup is an important part in the development of South African football.
“We are not happy that we have conceded five goals in the group stages and this is not normal for us. Once again we will go back to the drawing board to prepare and correct our errors for the semifinal.”
Shifting focus to the hosts, Beston Chambeshi's side will bank on the home crowd to spur them on to victory win.
Having won all their group matches, Zambia are favourites to lift the trophy and build on from their COSAFA Cup glory.
Beating Mali, Guinea and Egypt handed the hosts a huge boost ahead of the semi-finals and booking a spot at the World Cup is also an achievement.
When these two nations clash, the match always produces fireworks and this one is going to be no different with their eyes both set on the final.
Zambia's Fashion Sakala and Amajita's Luther Singh are the two players expected to play key roles in the match.
The match will be staged at 18:00 on Wednesday and the venue is the National Heroes Stadium at Lusaka.