Talent Chawapiwa of Zimbabwe celebrates after scoring against Zambia on Sunday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

RUSTENBURG – Zimbabwe fans burst on to the pitch after their team were crowned this year’s Cosafa Cup champions on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Zambia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Some rushed to the podium where the prize-giving was suppose to be made, while the others performed somersaults on the pitch to celebrate the victory.

The win meant that not only were Zimbabwe able to win the title after four years, but it also meant that they are the only national side to have won it five times.

In this match-up, Zimbabwe enjoyed the better support compared to their opponents Zambia.

And that worked to their benefit as the loud cheering, whistling and the applause for every positive move stirred them up to give a spirited performance.

Zimbabwe’s captain Ovidy Karuru and Talent Chawapiwa shone the brightest for their side.

They were the two spears which the Warriors used to pierce through Zambia’s defensive line on either wing.

Chawapiwa was the one who was having the most fun on the right wing, giving Lawrence Chungu all sorts of problems to deal with going forward, while Karuru, who started in the No 10 role, made his markers eat dust each time he was on the move as well.

The Warriors’ first goal, though, came through an assist from right back Eric Chipeta. The defender hoofed the ball forward with a well weighted long pass to connect with striker Knox Mutizwa, who was in the 16-yard area to finish off the chance.

The centre-forward jumped head and shoulders above the opposition’s goalkeeper, who came off his line for an attempted save, and directed the ball into the back of the net with a well-taken header.

The Zambian Chipolopolo fired blanks from most of the first period. However, they were able to pull one back going into the halftime break through their striker Lubinda Mundia, who struck in a superb shot from a set-piece.

In the second period, Zimbabwe bounced back into the lead after they conceded late in the first half.

And they did that just six minutes into the second half when Chawapiwa scored their second of the match, following a sweet assist from Mutizwa.

Ocean Mushure added the final nail to the coffin, as his goal took the stuffing out of Zambia’s performance going into fulltime.


IOL Sport