Zimbabwe . . . 0
Zambia . . . (1) 2
ZAMBIA won the 2013 edition of the Cosafa Castle Cup, taking sweet revenge against the Warriors in a thrilling and dramatic finale worth every penny at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium yesterday.
REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI IN NDOLA, ZAMBIA
For the win, Zambia took home R500 000, while Zimbabwe were R250 000 richer for coming second.
Alex N’gonga surprised Zimbabwe goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu with a rather harmless free kick for the opener before Kabaso Chongo ended the Battle of the Zambezi dream final in injury time in a similar fashion.
Zimbabwe’s solace was midfielder Devon Chafa being named the man of the match. Ronald Chitiyo and Tendai Ndoro also won the same accolades in the last two matches against Malawi and Lesotho.
Zimbabwe dismantled Zambia 3-1 in the last final in Harare in 2009 and the two giants of the region could meet again next month in the final qualifier of the African Nations Championships (Chan).
In the third and fourth place play off, South Africa beat Lesotho 2-1.
Zambia tested Warriors goalkeeper Max Nyamupangendengu as early as the second minute but Mukuka Mulenga’s long range effort went wide.
Last Chibwiro brought down Festus Mbewe and earned a yellow card in the third minute and the Warriors paid dearly. Nchanga Rangers attacking midfielder N’gonga’s curling free kick deceived the goalkeeper to nestle in the top right corner.
Zimbabwe was not intimidated though, as they knocked the ball with aplomb and slowed the pace of the match.
The ball supply to lone striker Ndoro was poor as second striker Nicholas Guyo was off form and the absence of Ronald Chitiyo was being felt in the centre circle.
Ocean Mushure then supplied the perfect pass for Ndoro from the left, but the striker headed wide for Zimbabwe’s best chance in the 24th minute.
Four minutes of added time saw Zimbabwe concede a second goal from another set-piece from substitute Kabaso Chongo, to effectively end Zimbabwe’s dream of a last minute equaliser.