Player Ratings: Botswana 0-1 Zambia (Cosafa Cup Final)
Tapson Kaseba scored the only goal of the game as Zambia were crowned 2019 COSAFA Cup champions after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Botswana in the decider at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Despite not looking to be at their illustrious best, the Chipolopolo had enough in their bag to pull off the much needed victory to claim the title. The ZamFoot Crew looks at how the individual players and coach performed.
1. Sebastian Mwange 10/10 – He was quick off his line to aid his defense and pulled off crucial saves to keep Zambia in the game as they struggle to play in the first half. Notably the fourth minute save off a Cooper shot and the point blank save in the 21st minute when he quickly moved off his line to close down the attacker.
2. Clement Mwape 6/10 – The oldest player in the Zambian squad also at 30. He was on a number of times caught out of position. The Tswanas had a lot of joy attacking through his space. He did not manage to influence attack from his side
3. Mwila Phiri 9/10 – What a tournament he had. He did well in defense and was always on hand to provide the cross. He had the highest number of crosses into the box for Zambia and it was his first time ball that picked Benson Sakala in the box for the assist that gave Kaseba the goal
4. Adrian Chama 9/10 – The 30 year old skipper of the side was excellent in defense. He led from the back and marshaled his defense with excellence. He hardly put a foot wrong. Zambia were opened up on the right side of defense in the 36th minute, his fine touch took the ball away from the lurking striker in a position that was easy for him to concede an own.
5. Tandi Mwape 8/10 – He covered his lines well, was winning the one on one battles and showed a lot of confidence to push up in midfield. Great combination and understanding with Chama.
6. Benson Sakala 7/10 – A workaholic and did all the dirty work for the team tracking the runners from midfield. He was on hand to provide the well guided assist for the only goal of the game.
7. Ernest Mbewe 7/10 – Largely overshadowed in the game, but was Zambia’s outlet for crosses.
8. Jack Chirwa 8/10 – Ran his socks off playing box to box. Forged a good combination with Sakala holding their positions well in top of the defense in the first half but pressing forward in tandem in the second half. Provided the extra man when Zambia had to defend
9. Lazarous Kambole 7.5/10 – Always committed to the cause, he was running for a every ball and finding space in the box. His efforts were however either tame or off target.
10. Tapson Kaseba 9/10 – Tough day for him, hardly got in his stride and was missing chances, but he never gave up. When he stuck around the box, he was getting in good positions and was on hand to tap-in for the goal. He could have scored more if he was clinical with his finishing. His goal
11. Austin Muwowo 7/10 – He was at the centre of Zambia’s resurgence in the second half as he saw more of the ball and was bringing the creative edge that was lacking in the first half.
Youremember Banda (In for Muwowo on 58′) 6/10 – Deployed on the left side of midfield but so very little of the ball. Did little to influence the game.
Chitiya Mususu and Emmanuel Chabula introduce for after the 90th minute are not rated.
Coach Rating: Aggrey Chiyangi 9/10
Justified by the win and it cannot be taken away from him. As the saying goes, a good defense wins your tournaments while a good attack wins you games. He put up a team that was difficult to breakdown in defense. He won the tournament with two goals conceded (in the first game) and three goals scored. Even when it was clear from the first game that his team was not effective going forward, he hardly changed anything about the approach. Even his substitution today was to bring in Youremember Banda a player with more grit at the expense of Muwowo who has more flair going forward. He kept faith in Tapson Kaseba who was involved in two of the three goals scored (assist against Malawi and goal against Botswana) despite his inability to hold up play as the ‘big man’ in the team.
Some fans may not be satisfied with the performances, but just like at Green Eagles, he has molded a team that has players playing as a unit, playing for each other with a lot of resilience and a never say die attitude.
Congratulations coach Chiyangi and Team!
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