Lemogang Maswena of Botswana challenged by Siyabonga Nhlapho of South Africa during 2018 Chan Qualifiers game between South Africa and Botswana at Moruleng Stadium on 22 July 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix
Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 13:00
South Africa's Bafana Bafana welcome Zambia in an aim to claim a win in the first leg of their 2018 CAF African Championships qualifier on Saturday.
Coach Stuart Baxter's men have had their fair share of troubles off the field of play as the English man faced player shortages recently.
A number of players pulled out of camp due to the upcoming 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season set to start this weekend with the MTN8 cup competition.
Bafana, though, will be boosted by their two consecutive wins over Botswana in the previous round of qualifiers.
A 2-0 win in Gaborone and a 1-0 win at home meant the 1996 CAF African Cup of Nations winners set up a date against Chipolopolo.
Bafana failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament in 2014 as they hosted the showpiece in Cape Town.
Looking at Zambia, coach Wedson Nyirenda will push his men to book a spot at the tournament and make their second appearance.
Zambia managed to reach the third place in 2009 in Cote d'Ivoire and based on their performance so far, they are a dangerous team.
They are fresh from two convincing wins over Swaziland in their previous CHAN qualifiers - they demolished Isihlangu Semnikati 7-0 on aggregate.
A 4-0 win away in Mbabane was followed by a 3-0 win in Lusaka to set up a thriller against the South Africans.
The two nations will meet at Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday, kick-off is at 15:00 (CAT).