Warriors goalkeeper, George Chigova proved the hero again as the Zimbabwe national men’s team sealed a COSAFA Cup final berth against Zambia following a 3-1 penalty shoot-out victory over Lesotho after their semifinal finished 0-0 in regulation time at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday. time
By Sports Reporter
Zambia defeated Madagascar 1-0 in the other semifinal as Lazarous Kambole scored the only goal of the game.
Chigova, having saved three penalties in the quarterfinal shoot-out win over Botswana on Sunday, came up with two more against Lesotho to seal a final berth for the defending champions.
The shoot-out finished in unusual circumstances when, needing to convert his kick, Lesotho midfielder Jane Thaba-Ntso made too much of a stuttering movement in his run-up and his kick was disqualified by referee Ahmad Heeralall from Mauritius.
The result meant Zimbabwe and Zambia clash in the COSAFA Cup final for the fourth time in six COSAFA Cup tournaments, with Zimbabwe having claimed victory in 2009 and 2017, and Zambia on home soil in 2013.
Zimbabwe were reduced to long-range efforts from Khama Billiat and Marshall Munetsi in the opening half-hour as Lesotho more than held their own and Sera flashed a ball across goal that just needed a touch from a fellow attacker to give them the lead.
Zimbabwe finally created a scoring chance in the box a minute before the break, but striker Abbas Amidu’s first touch let him down and Lesotho goalkeeper Likano Mphuthi was able to narrow the angle and avert danger.
Both sides had half-chances in the early stages of the second period, but substitute Tinotenda Kadewere might have done better when he had a free header eight yards from goal but steered it wide of goal.
A frenetic final 10 minutes saw the action move from end to end, but neither side could find a winner and penalties were needed to decide the tie.
And Zimbabwe, the current COSAFA Cup holders won 3:1 on penalties. Khama Billiat, Jameson Mukombwe and Alec Mudimu scored the three goals for the Warriors.
The win brought to life the Zambezi derby after Zambia sailed past Madagascar 1-0 earlier today.
The final will take place at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Zambia 1 (Lazarous Kambole 38’) Madagascar 0
Lesotho 0 Zimbabwe 0 – Zimbabwe won 3-1 on penalties