Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda has commended his charges for ending their four-year Cosafa Cup semifinal drought.
Chipolopolo beat 2016 runners-up Botswana 2-1 in the quarterfinals on July 1 in Rustenburg to reach their first semifinals since 2013.
The four-time champions have been eliminated from the last two editions at the last 8 stage of the competition since winning the Cosafa Cup as hosts four years ago.
“It was a tough game but I must commend the boys for a job well done,” Nyirenda said.
Green Buffaloes striker Brian Mwila scored the first goal in the 10th minute to put Zambia 1-0 into halftime.
It was Mwila’s second successive Chipolopolo goal after scoring his debut goal on June 13 in a 2-1 away friendly victory over Bafana Bafana.
Nkwazi striker Justin Shonga added the final goal in the 70th minute.
But two minutes later, Botswana were awarded a penalty but Power Dynamos goalkeeper Allan Chibwe parried Thabang Sesinyi’s spot kick.
However, Botswana sneaked one in the 79th minute through Kabelo Seakanyeng to see the Zebras relegated to the plate category of the tournament South Africa is hosting from June 25 to July 9.
Zambia will face winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal tie between hosts Bafana Bafana or Tanzania in the semifinals on July 5.