Zambia beat Madagascar 1-0 in the first 2018 Cosafa Cup semifinal at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
In the wake of the win, Chipolopolo will now face either the defending champions, Zimbabwe, or Lesotho in the final. The pair will meet in the second semifinal on Wednesday evening.
The Malagasy started better and Franklin Andriamanarivo’s men created more chances and tested the Zambian goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata, but there were no goals after 20 minutes.
A great display by the Chipolopolo saw them ripping apart the Malagasy defence before Lazarous Kambole netted a fine finish, leaving the keeper with no chance in the 39th minute.
Zambia would come close to doubling their lead in the 42nd minute from a pass into the area, yet Kelvin Mubanga could not direct his effort as it sailed inches wide.
It was 1-0 at the interval.
The Barea came back with hunger and nearly scored when Nasandratra saw his glancing header shaving Nsabata’s left-hand post.
In their response, Zambia displayed good touches in the 56th minute and tested Jean Leda, whose block with a leg stopped Beston Chambeshi’s troops doubling their lead.
With 19 minutes to go, Nasandratra failed to lower his effort with only Nsabata to beat after receiving the ball through a defence-splitting pass.
In the latter stages, the Zambians had a number of chances, but failed to score their second goal as the Malagasy were reduced to 10 men in the 85th minute when Toky Adriamanjato was red carded for a reckless tackle.
The 2016 African champions held onto their slender lead to reach the final, whilst Madagascar will now wait for the loser between the Warriors and the Likuena encounter to face off in the third-place playoff on Friday evening.
Zambia (1) 1 (Kambole 39’)
Zambia: Nsabata, Mutale, Kambole, Sakala, Ching’andu, Mayembe, Chirwa, Mubanga (Kampamba 66’), Chama (Sikombe 89’), Tembo, Sikaonga
Madagascar: Leda, Johny, Mikka (Lalaina 77’), Baggio (Nolody 60’), Nasandratra, Dax, Carlos, Mario, Bourah, Toby, Ando