DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA — Zambia’s Chipolopolo will meet Botswana’s Zebras in Saturday’s 2019 COSAFA Cup final after the pair won through two keenly-fought semi-final matches at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday. Botswana edged Lesotho 2-1, while Zambia needed penalties to see off old foes Zimbabwe in what was a repeat of the last two COSAFA Cup finals.
The Warriors proved victorious on both those occasions, but this time it was Zambia who came out on top, albeit via the lottery of penalties after the teams had played to a0-0 draw.The first real opportunity of the match fell to Admiral Muskwe, who failed to connect with a Divine Lunga cross, but it looked as though the opener would come at the other end.
Zambia were awarded a penalty, but Austin Muwowo saw his effort saved by Zimbabwe goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, who bravely got to the ball before Muwowo could stab home the rebound. Tinotenda Kaderwere, one of the heroes of Zimbabwe’s final win last season, had an excellent chance to win the game late on, but fired over the bar from close range when it is seemed easier to score.
Khama Billiat seemed to clip as he took the first penalty for Zimbabwe in the shoot-out and it was saved by Zambia goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange, and when Muskwe skied the Warriors second kick, they were always up against it. Zambia held their nerve to score all of their penalties and win a place in Saturday’s final, where they will look to lift the regional trophy for the first time since 2013.
Zebras interim coach, Mogomotsi Mpote has become the first local coach to reach the finals of the COSAFA cup following the 2016 fate by the then coach Briton Peter Butler