Zambia 1-3 Zimbabwe: Warriors secure record-fifth Cosafa Cup title
Zimbabwe, Honest Moyo
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Zimbabwe secured a record-breaking fifth Cosafa Cup with a 3-1 win over Zambia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday

The two Southern African nations brought the curtain down on the 2017 Cosafa Cup in Rustenburg, with both chasing a fifth title.

They came into the game tied on four titles each, with the host nation - South Africa also on the same number of titles following their early exit against Tanzania.

Both sides went for broke and were not prepared to sit back and wait for opportunities to open up. Instead they ventured forward in earnest and attacked each otherfrom the first whistle.

However, neither side was able to find the net, with the chances at either end going astray of the intended target.

Zambia, who entered the tournament with a make-shift squad made up of locally-based players, were unperturbed by the threats of their Zimbabwean counterparts in all spheres of the game.

The Zimbabweans meanwhile, brought out their big guns, with dangerman and tournament’s top scorer Ovidy Karuru spearheading the attack alongside Knox Mutizwa.

Chipolopolo had the game’s first clear-cut chance when George Chirwa forced George Chigova into a stunning save after 10 minutes.

Despite the early momentum, it was the Zimbabweans who took the lead through Mutizwa in the 22nd minute when he headed home following an assist from Honest Moyo.

The Bidvest Wits striker had another opportunity to put his name on the scoresheet yet again, but he was denied by Allan Chibwe moments later.

Zambia kept probing for the equalizer as the half-time break edged closer, and Aubrey Chirwa came close to snatching the equalizer, only for Chigova to pull a stunning save.

Chipolopolo drew level when Lubinda Mundia headed home in the midst of a static Zimbabwean defence that could only stand and watch him head home the leveler after 39 minutes.

With the scoreline level, chances continued to pile up, but the same barrier of firing blanks came to the fore as neither side was able to go into break in front.

The second half started the way it ended, with both sides continuing their offensive game. 

However, the Warriors looked more threatening.

They capitalized on poor defending five minutes after the break, but Mutizwa could not beat the Zambian keeper, who stopped him in his track from getting his brace.

They were not to be denied six minutes later when Talent Chawapiwa expertly finished Mutizwa’s rebound off the post to put the Warriors in front.

It got worse for Chipolopolo, who were all at sea in all departments as they battled to contain the Zimbabweans.

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Ocean Mushure joined the party by adding the Warriors third, with a neatly taken finish from inside the box following a supply from Chawapiwa in the 66th minute.

The Zambians looked for a way back into the game as coach Wedson Nyirenda pulled out his best cards to try get his team into the game, but Zimbabwe held on to their lead to claim a record-fifth Cosafa Cup title.

In the end, the Warriors proved too hot to handle for the land of the Copper Bullets who failed to live up to the pre-tournament’s hype of lifting the crown in the North West province.