The Zambia national soccer team has progressed to the finals of the 2019 Cosafa Cup tournament after eliminating perennial rivals Zimbabwe 4 – 2 on penalties. This was after the two teams played out to a goalless draw in regular time.
The Chipolopolo will match on to the final to play Botswana after eliminating the defending champions in a pulsating match that brought out the best of the Zambian defence.
Stand-in coach Aggrey Chiyangi made two changes to the team that struggled to beat Malawi in the quarter final bringing in Clement Mwape for Gift Zulu at right back and Jack Chirwa for Webster Muzaza in midfield.
Zimbabwe who are preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament made eight changes to the team that played in the quarter finals. The changes didn’t seem to unsettle them as they started strong knocking the ball around very well with Zambia hardly keeping any possession in the first 10 minutes.
However, once the Chipolopolo settled, they were creating chances and making the Zimbabwe keeper Elvis Chipezeze work to keep the champions in the game.
The eventual man of the match Chipezeze was on hand to save an Austin Muwowo penalty in the 40th minute after Zambia were awarded a soft penalty for a handball in the box. This was after he had twice kept out Lazarous Kambole at point blank range who pounced in a loose ball with an over head kick and earlier a shot from inside the box.
After the restart it was end to end football with skipper Adrian Chama doing well in defending and marshaling his charges while an excellent Mwange in goal had his biggest highlight when he turned Knowledge Musona’s goal bound shot around the post.
With both teams failing to break the deadlock, the game went to penalties.
Zimbabwe missed their first two penalties and failed to recover from that as Zambia went on to score four spot kicks through Tandi Mwape, Jack Chirwa, Mwila Phiri and Bruce Musaknaya.
The Chipolopolo who lost twice lost to Zimbabwe in the finals in the previous two tournaments will now face Botswana in the final who beat Lesotho in the other semi-final match.
Zambia XI v Zimbabwe
Sebastian Mwange, Clement Mwape, Adrian Chama, Tandi Mwape, Mwila Phiri – Benson Sakala, Jackson Chirwa – Austin Muwowo (Webster Muzaza) – Ernest Mbewe (Bruce Musakanya), Tapson Kaseba, Lazarous Kambole (Emmanuel Chabula)
Zimbabwe XI v Zambia
Elvis Chipezeze, Tendayi Darikwa, Divine Lunga, Alec Mudimu , Talent Chawapihwa, Marshal Munetsi, Thabani Kamusoko, Teenage Hadebe, Knowledge Musona, Admiral Muskwe, Tafadzwa Kutinyu.