Warriors' date with destiny

HARARE – The Warriors are on the cusp of making Cosafa Castle Cup history if they beat Zambia in today’s final at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa.

Kick-off is 3pm local time.

Both Zimbabwe and Zambia are standing on four Cosafa Castle Cup titles together with South Africa.

A win for Sunday Chidzambwa’s team today means they will be the outright leaders when it comes to most titles in this regional tournament.

However, it is not going to be a stroll in the park for Zimbabwe considering the way the team performed in the semi-finals against Lesotho.

The match was a thrilling affair finishing 4-3 in favour of the Warriors but Chidzambwa was not pleased at all with how his team defended.

Zimbabwe seemed jittery every time the Crocodiles had possession and as a result ended up conceding three goals.

Throughout his coaching career, Chidzambwa’s philosophy has always been of keeping things tight at the back while trying to catch the opponents on the break.

The Warriors were pretty solid in defence during the preliminary group stages where they did not concede a goal in three matches while scoring 10.

However, that mean defence was finally breached in the quarter-finals when the Warriors beat Swaziland 2-1.

But it is the manner in which the team allowed the Crocodiles to score easily last Wednesday night which left Chidzambwa disappointed with his defence.

Even striker Knox Mutizwa, who scored a hat-trick against Lesotho, was not amused by the way his teammates easily allowed their opponents to get on the score sheet.

“I’m pleased with the hat-trick that I have scored today but I’m a bit disappointed with the guys in our defence,” the Golden Arrows forward said after his heroics against the Crocodiles.

“We were scoring the goals upfront but whenever Lesotho attacked they were also scoring. I’m sure the coach is going to have a word with our defenders so that they can improve.” 

In the two games they have played at the tournament, Chipolopolo have been solid in all departments despite allowing Tanzania to score two goals in the semi-final on Wednesday.

Chipolopolo first dispatched Botswana 2-1 in the quarter-finals before defeating the Taifa Stars 4-2 in the last four clash.

In forward Justin Shonga they have a forward who can cause a lot of problems for the Warriors’ defence if they are not careful.

The Nkhwazi FC striker has scored three goals in the two matches Chipolopolo have been involved in.

Zambia are hoping to enjoy more possession against the Warriors today.

“Against Tanzania we didn’t have much possession. We just wanted to find the back of the net,” Shonga said.

“We just have to work on ball possession. We shouldn’t give away the ball too much so that we can outplay our opponents.”

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