09 Jul 2017 18:10pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
RUSTENBURG, 09 JUL (NAMPA) Zimbabwe outclassed Zambia by three goals to one in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Castle Cup at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Sunday, to win the trophy a record five times.
Playing in front of an arguably biggest crowd ever seen at the Cosafa Cup this year, the Zimbabweans took the lead in the 25th minute when Player of the Tournament, Knox Mutizwa out-jumped the two Zambian centre backs and goal keeper to score with a simple header.
Both teams played attractive attacking football with several chances falling to both set of strikers who failed to convert.
Zambia equalised 10 minutes before halftime when substitute Lubinda Mundia, who had been on the pitch for less than 30 seconds, headed in from a corner kick to leave the two teams tied one-all at halftime.
Second half saw a confident Zimbabwe up the pace and they were rewarded in the 56th minute when Man of the Match, Talent Chawapiwa smashed a rebound into the bottom left corner of the Zambia goalpost, following Mutizwas header, which had bounced from the goalpost.
Zambia threw everything in attack following the goal but conceded again 10 minutes later, when Ocean Mashure made amends after having missed a free kick in the first half.
He picked a pass from Chawapiwa on the right flank and unleashed a shot that beat the Zambian goalkeeper, hands down.
Zambian Coach Wedson Nyirenda paid tribute to Zimbabwe, saying they played well and deserved to win.
His opposite number Sunday Chidzambwa praised his players, saying they had adjusted their tactics very well in the second half, which confused Zambia.
For Chidzambwa, it was a record 13th victory (15 games played, 13 won and two drawn) and a record third title by any coach at this tournament.
Zimbabwe becomes the first country to win the tournament for the fifth time, followed by South Africa and Zambia on four each, while Angola has won it three times.
Namibia completes the previous winners table with one win in 2015.
The tournament was not played for three successive years between 2010 and 2012.