Zimbabwe retain Cosafa title after Zambia concede late
Zimbabwe picked a 6th record Cosafa Cup title at the expense of Zambia who they beat 4 – 2 in extra time after the game ended 2 – 2 in regulation time.
Zambia looked set to overturn the 2017 result which saw Zimbabwe beat them to the trophy in the final as they cruised to the 90th minute leading 2 – 1 thanks to two Lazarous Kambole goals.
But some lapses in concentration saw the Warriors equalize in the second minute of additional time and go to win with a brace from Tino Kadewere and Khama Billiat.
Zimbabwe got off the mark when Kadewere was gifted a pass by Martin Sikaonga in the 4th minute to find himself one on one with Toaster Nsabata and he made no mistake to slot past the Chipolopolo goal minder.
Zambia reacted well and were back on level terms after a defense splitting pass from Clatous Chama found Kambole who managed to go round George Chigova in the Zimbabwe goal to finish off a neat move started by John Chingandu in the 8th minute.
It was a cagey game from then on and after the restart, Zambia again showed brilliance when Kambole received a cleared ball on the left which he played out to Chama and the classy attacking midfielder played a through ball for the pacy striker who outrun his marker to shoot home from a tight angle in the 50th minute.
Chambeshi brought in Collins Sikombe for ineefective Kelvin Mubanga in the 59th minute but Zimbabwe continued pushing for the equlaizer.
The Chipolopolo had their opponents where they wanted, even when they got a sniff on goal, Nsabata was on point as was the case when he dived to his left to save from close range after a corner in the 67th minute.
With just 2 minutes to play, Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba was brought in for injured Kambole and Zambia looked like they woulf wrap up the result when Chama nutmegged a Zimbabwean defender to find Sate Sate in free space with only the keeper to beat but he sent his shot on to the upright.
Zimbabwe launched the ball forward from the rebound and with three touches, they had equalized with Kadewere pouncing on a lay off from Billiat.
It was Kampamba again who found himself defending in the Zambia box and this time he was beaten by Billiat and the Nkana striker tackled from behind for Zambia to concede a penalty which was duly converted by Billiat in the 100th minute.
With Kambole out of the game, the Chipolopolo lacked power in attack and as they desperately pushed for an equalizer, they were caught on the counter attack which they could not defend outnumbered 3 v 2 for Billiat to again slot past Nasabata.
Zambia will return from the tournament with one win, one draw, one loss and three goals all scored by Kambole.
Zambia XI v Zimbabwe
Toaster Nsabata ,Shemmy Mayembe, Billy Mutale, Ziyo Tembo, Martin Sikaonga, Benson Sakala, Jack Chirwa , Kelvin Mubanga (Collins Sikombe 59), John Chingandu (Ngosa Sunzu 84′), Clatous Chama, Lazarous Kambole (Ronald Kampamba 88′)
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