Zambia and Malawi set up a final date in Friday’s COSAFA Cup 2015 Plate Final when they both claimed victory in their Last 4 clashes at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Wednesday.
Zambia breezed past west African guest nation Ghana 3-0 in the first game of the day, before Malawi overcame hosts South Africa in a penalty shoot-out after their semifinal had finished in a 0-0 draw.
Defending cup champions Zambia were rampant in their clash as they scored three goals in the first half through Bornwell Mwape, Aaron Katebe, Nathan Sinkala.
Ghana were second-best to everything and never offered much of a threat as Chipolopolo eased into the Plate final.
There they will meet Malawi, who came under pressure at times against South Africa, but more than held their own.
Bafana Bafana now exit the competition without having scored a goal in their two games after losing 5-4 in the shoot-out.
Thursday will see the Cup semifinals played as Namibia take on Madagascar at the Moruleng Stadium (17h00 local time; 15h00 GMT).
Both sides have been in excellent form in the competition and that should set up a tasty tie full of action.
Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti acknowledges his side are up against a top opponent.
“They are not to be underestimated. They came a long way and have beaten some worth opponents,” he said. “Ghana is not easy and they came out of their group confidently so we must and will respect them. It’s seminal and anything can happen.
“We remain positive. We have still had another gear in us and we need to step up on Thursday and we still improving. If we can do that I’m very positive that we can get a desired positive outcome against Madagascar.”
The second semifinal sees Botswana play Mozambique at the same venue in another intriguing clash (19h30 local time; 17h30 GMT).
Zebras coach Peter Butler says his side will not be getting ahead of themselves, but are glad to be putting smiles on the faces of their countrymen.
“We will remain humble,” he said. “Keep our feet on the ground and take it as it comes. We have had a great week after good preparation. This gives the Botswana people something to scream and shout about.”
WEDNESDAY’S PLATE SEMIFINAL RESULTS
Zambia 3 (Mwape 24’, Katebe 29’, Sinkala 42’) Ghana 0
South Africa 0 Malawi 0 – Malawi win 5-4 on pens
THURSDAY’S CUP SEMIFINAL FIXTURES
Namibia vs Madagascar @ Moruleng Stadium (17h00 local, 15h00 GMT)
Botswana vs Mozambique @ Moruleng Stadium (19h30 local, 17h30 GMT)
Group A P W D L GF GA Pts
Namibia 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
Zimbabwe 3 2 0 1 4 4 6
Mauritius 3 1 0 2 1 4 3
Seychelles 3 0 1 2 0 2 1
Group B P W D L GF GA Pts
Madagascar 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Swaziland 3 2 1 0 4 1 7
Lesotho 3 1 0 2 2 4 3
Tanzania 3 0 0 3 0 4 0
Matches Played: 18
Goals scored: 32
Biggest victory: Namibia 4 Zimbabwe 1 (Group A, May 21)
Most goals in a game: 5 – Namibia 4 Zimbabwe 1 (Group A, May 21)
3 goals – Michel Randriamanjaka (Madagascar)
2 – Deon Hotto (Namibia), Benson Shilongo (Namibia)
1 – Talent Chawaphiwa (Zimbabwe), Ronald Chitiyo (Zimbabwe), Daniel Darkwah (Ghana), Chris Katjiukua (Namibia), Jeremea Kamela (Lesotho), Aaron Katebe (Zambia), Sifiso Mabila (Swaziland), Raphael Manuvire (Zimbabwe), Mthunzi Mkhontfo (Swaziland), Bornwell Mwape (Zambia), Limbikani Mzava (Malawi), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland), Lantonirina Rabehasinmbola (Madagascar), Martin Rakotoharimalala (Madagascar), Carlos Rusere (Zimbabwe), Xolani Sibandze (Swaziland), Olivier Simouri (Madagascar), Nathan Sinkala (Zambia), Jean-Pierre Sophie (Mauritius), Muhammad Sulumba (Malawi), Thapelo Tale (Lesotho), Sadney Urikhob (Namibia), Sarivahy Vombola (Madagascar)
Own goals – Lucky Malata (Malawi), Limbikani Mzava (Malawi)