JOHANNESBURG – The war of words between Zambia and Madagascar has been cranked up ahead of their Cosafa Cup semifinal match in Polokwane on Wednesday. Madagascar coach Franklin Andriamanarivo says his players will not be afraid of Zambia when the two teams clash in at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
This will be the two nations' first competitive meeting in 17 years. Madagascar, who qualified to the knockout stages with two wins and a draw, eliminated hosts Bafana Bafana 4-3 on penalties following a scoreless draw in the quarterfinals on June 3.
“Our players are not afraid to play against Zambia. After Sunday’s result, we are even more motivated to do well,” Andriamanarivo told Cosafa.com. “We have prepared well for this match and with our results so far this has given us the belief that we can come out on top.”
Zambia advanced to the semifinals via a similar scoreline against Namibia on Saturday at the same venue in a match a Chipolopolo huffed and puffed through before securing their passage via a shootout. Chipolopolo coach, Beston Chambeshi, believes Madagascar would be wise to respect his team.
“Football is played on the field, we will meet them on Wednesday so it will be a good game and the 90 minutes will reveal the result,” Chambeshi told Cosafa.com. “I think they have to respect us because we are both in the same tournament. All we need to do now is preparing the boys well and see to it that they play at a higher level on Wednesday.”
Zambia are aiming for their second successive Cosafa Cup final appearance following their 3-1 loss to defending champions Zimbabwe last July in Rustenburg. Madagascar are aiming for their first final appearance after making the 2015 semifinals. They made their tournament debut in 2002. The teams have met just once before in the Cosafa Cup when Zambia won the third-place play-off in 2008, claiming the match 2-0.
African News Agency (ANA)