Zambia and Zim have been there, now they do it again

09 July 2017 - 00:03 By MARK GLEESON

South Africa are again in the position of being party hosts, but having to watch from the sidelines as others command the dance floor.
Today it is Zambia and Zimbabwe who contest the Cosafa Cup at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, with the winner set to become the most successful side in the competition's 20-year history.
Both, along with South Africa, have won it four times and Zambia are chasing their first success since 2009. Today's teams have hard-running styles and a robust physical approach. Long balls from deep and proficiency at set pieces have marked their performances thus far.
Zimbabwe have taken the hard road. The final will be their sixth game in a fortnight.
This is because their lowly ranking forced them to go through the group stages.
Zambia were among the seeded sides who joined only last weekend in the quarterfinals and they have beaten Botswana (2-1) and Tanzania (4-2) to reach today's decider.
Zambia are coached by ex-Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda, who needs a positive result to keep his employment prospects alive after Zambia suffered a shock home defeat by Mozambique in their first game of the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
Zimbabwe have included five South African-based players.
Their star performers have been two PSL rejects. Ovidy Karuru, anonymous at Chiefs, and Knox Mutizwa, whom champions Bidvest Wits let go of on loan last season, scored a hat-trick in Wednesday's win over Lesotho.

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