Warriors face giant killers Lesotho

HARARE – The Zimbabwe national team will face Cosafa Cup giant-killers Lesotho in the semifinals of the competition on Wednesday.

Lesotho reached the semi-finals in Zambia on Sunday with a 5-3 penalty shootout win over Angola in Kitwe.

The last eight game in the mining city ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and the Crocodiles converted all five kicks while Mano missed for the Black Antelopes.

Tlali Maile, Ralekoti Mokhahlane, Thabo Masualle, Bushy Moletsane and Katleho Moleko were the shootout scorers for a country ranked 161 in the world.

Lesotho reached the quarterfinals by defying the odds to top Group B on goal difference after holding Kenya and Botswana and defeating Swaziland.

And victory over a youthful Angolan side, who used two 16-year-old substitutes, earned them a showdown with Zimbabwe, who are the defending champions of the competition.

Hosts Zambia also reached the semis after defeating Mozambique to book a midweek date with South Africa.

Angola went ahead after 25 minutes with the best goal so far of the 2013 southern Africa national team championship.

Striker Mabululu pounced on a wayward Basotho clearance to volley the ball past helpless goalkeeper Phasumane Kholuoe from well outside the box.

Lesotho responded with a series of attacks at a rapidly filling stadium and levelled four minutes before half-time.

A Moleko dribble set up Thapelo Tale to score his third goal of the tournament with a low shot across goalkeeper Nelson.

Lesotho came closest to winning the match during the second half with the crossbar foiling Tale and Lehlomela Ramabele.

The Cosafa Cup was revived this year after a three-year absence caused by a South African brewery temporarily withdrawing its sponsorship.

Zimbabwe have lifted the trophy four times and Angola, South Africa and Zambia three times each since its 1997 inception.

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