going strong

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Serame "Rhee" Letsoaka, South African national development soccer side coach, said his side is on the right track to defend the Cosafa Senior Challenge.

Amabinneplaas, as the South African squad is known, will face The Chipolopolo of Zambia in a semifinal encounter slated for the artificial pitch of Thulamahashe Stadium in Bushbuckridge today.

Kickoff is at 5.30pm.

"The boys have responded well to our tactics and I still believe they are on the right track to defend the title," said Letsoaka.

He said he was unfazed by the Zambians despite boasting almost nine players from the squad that featured in this year's Afcon finals.

"If we managed to bundle out Namibia, who also brought their strongest squad, there is nothing to fear from Zambia," said Letsoaka whose squad comprises mostly First Division players.

South Africa goes into today's game without defender Warren Bishop of University of Pretoria, who injured his right ankle during the quarterfinal match against Namibia, and John Tsotetsi of Free State Stars who came into camp with a left calf injury that has kept him out of the tournament.

Bamuza Sono of Jomo Cosmos has been excused from camp because of personal problems.

Prominent players in the Zambian team include Noah Chivuta (SuperSport United), Kennedy Mweene and Chintu Kampamba (Free State Stars).

Entrance into the game is R10 for adults and R5 for children.

Meanwhile, Madagascar, who are through to the semifinals of the event for the first time, will face Mozambique at the same venue at 7.30pm.

Their clash comes less than a month since the two countries met in the World Cup qualifiers, playing out a 1-1 draw in Antananarivo and then seeing Mozambique winning 3-0 in Maputo a week later.

Madagascar and Mozambique have a chance to reach the final for the first time.