from SHUMIRAI MACHINGURA in Polokwane, South Africa
POLOKWANE, (CAJ News) – IT’S a rehearsal of the 2017 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) cup final when Zambia and Zimbabwe clash again in this year’s decider.
Chipolopolo of Zambia booked their way into the final following a slender 1-0 victory over Madagascar.
Zimbabwe had to wait for yet another set of penalty shoot-out in order to be separated with Lesotho.
Zimbabwe beat Lesotho 3-1 on penalties to progress into the final. Again, it was the brilliance of acrobatic goalkeeper George Chigova, who saved two penalties.
Earlier Zambia had sailed through courtesy of brilliant strike by Lazarous Kambole in the 39th minute to slip past an otherwise stubborn Madagascar.
Zimbabwe Warriors, who fluffed easy scoring opportunities could have buried the Likuena Crocodiles in the first half, but slow reaction to defence splitting passes by Marshall Munetsi and Khama Billiat were the greatest challenge.
Abbas Amidu and Evans Rusike were slow.
However, the pendulum swung the Zimbabwean way when Talent Chapiwa came in for Rusike.
The Baroka striker was a marvel to watch as he tore apart the “Mountain Kingdom” with his dribbling skills and sudden burst of speed.
In the 2017 COSAFA final, Zimbabwe thrashed Zambia 3-1 to win the title a record five times.
A win against Zambia on Saturday will see Zimbabwe increase their regional dominance to six while a lose will also see their northern neighbours – Zambia equal their fifth time record.
– CAJ News