7 June 2018
…As Warriors reach final to face Zambia
GEORGE Chigova was the hero again last night as he saved two penalty kicks, inspiring the Warriors to another COSAFA cup final against Zambia at the expense of Lesotho.
After being held to a 1-1 draw against Botswana and winning 3-1 on penalties in the quarter-finals, Zimbabwe was once again forced to go for penalties after being held to a goalless draw.
Jameson Mukombwe, Khama Billiat and Alec Mudimu converted from the spot to give Zimbabwe a second 3-1 win.
“I know now we are facing Zambia and they are going to come here for revenge. It is going to be a tough game and you can see from the previous two games that we played.
“They (teams) have been putting us under pressure since we are the defending champions. We managed to contain that pressure and now we are in the final,” Chigova told Supersport after the match.
“As a goalkeeper you just want to save the team and so I said I will try and if we lose, we lose. I’m just happy I managed to save two and our players scored and we are through to the final.
“The two games we played we created a lot of chances but we could not convert. I’m just happy we are creating chances and I hope we go back as a team and correct that and avoid penalties.
“Defensively we are solid and we have to work on our attacking third. I didn’t have much to do because the organisation at the back is good.”
The Warriors enjoyed support from a good crowd.
“Even last year, we had so much support so we say when we come here we want to make these people happy. They are going home celebrating and I hope on Saturday they go home celebrating,” said Chigova.
Although Zimbabwe eventually qualified, it was a game that could have gone either way.
In the first half, Lesotho had managed three goal attempts compared to the Warriors’ seven. Both teams however had one attempt each on target.
Khama Billiat was in good form in the first half and Lesotho was forced to keep a close eye on him. He contributed much to the six fouls committed by Lesotho in that half.
The Warriors were forced to commit the same number of fouls before the breather. Marshal Munetsi in the process was forced to commit himself too much against the threatening Lesotho side.
Twice Lesotho was caught off-side as they tried to cause an upset before the breather
With three corners in the first half against Zimbabwe’s two, Chidzambwa’s charges was finding the going tough going into the second half. This was despite the 56 percent ball possession against Lesotho’s 44.
In the second half, Chidzambwa was forced to pull out Abbas Amidu for Talent Chawapihwa. Tino Rusike then replaced Evans Rusike but nothing changed, as Lesotho held on for a goalless draw despite being forced against the wall.
They finally cracked when they found the brick wall, Chigova.