Polokwane — IT’S official… .the Zimbabwe Warriors are the southern African soccer power-house after winning a record sixth Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) cup final against Zambia.
Dubbed the battle of The Mighty Zambezi River, Zimbabwe beat their rock-ribbed northern neighbours Zambia 4-2 in a scintillating final played at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa.
A brace each by Philana Kadewere (4th, 90th) and another double by Khama Billiat were enough to see the Zimbabwe Warriors return the trophy they won in 2017 against the same opponents – Chipolopolo of Zambia.
Zambia scored their two goals through double scorer Lazarous Kambole (8th, 50th).
The victory, which sends the nation into jubilation also catapulted the Zimbabwean coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa as the best Southern African Development Community (SADC) football mentor, winning the title four times, a feat that was never done before by an individual coach.
Also making history in this COSAFA tournament is acrobatic goalkeeper George “Penalty Stopper” Chigova, who made history by saving five penalties in both the quarter-final and semi-final encounters.
Even the country’s Head of State, President Emmerson Mnangagwa praised the Warriors squad for bringing joy to the nation following their memorable victory.
Zimbabwe, who were robbed a place into this month’s FIFA World Cup final due to its failure to settle payment for Brazilian coach Jose Claudinei Georgini saw the Warriors get kicked out of the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches, but victory over Zambia rubbed off those sad memories.
The COSAFA Cup final started on a faster pace with both Zambia and Zimbabwe threatening to score early.
However, it was the brilliance of Khama in the dying stages of the game that changed the complexion of the whole match with a perfect header to Kadewere to rifle home from close range.