The Warriors of Zimbabwe are on the brink of adding another chapter to the history of the COSAFA Castle Cup after storming to the final of the 2017 edition of the regional football contest with a 4-3 win over Lesotho at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday.
The Warriors are stuck on four COSAFA Castle Cup titles, the same as Angola, South Africa and Zambia but victory over Zambia on Sunday will see the Zimbabweans become the first ever team to win the contest five times and thereby add their name to the tournament’s history.
This could not have been possible had it not been for the three goals from Knox Mtizwa and another from Talent Chawapihwa that sunk Lesotho and gave the Zimbabweans a well-deserved place in the final after having scored a massive 12 goals in their other four matches in the competition, including a 6-0 thrashing of Seychelles.
Their coach Sunday Chidzambwa also has history starring him in the face as success at the Royal Mafokeng Stadium against the Chipolopolo on Sunday will see him become the only coach in the region to win the 14-nation competition a record three times.
Chidzambwa won the competition twice in 2003 and 2009, the same as South Africa’s Shakes Mashaba who triumphed in 2005 and 2016 but Mashaba is no longer the Bafana Bafana coach.
Ironically, Sunday’s young brother Misheck, is also a proud holder of a Cosafa Castle Cup title after leading the Warriors to success in 2000.
The Zimbabwe Football Association and most Zimbabweans have praised the Warriors for reaching the finals.
But coach Chidzambwa believes that the Warriors nearly paid dearly for their complacency against Lesotho, who scored three goals.
He is quoted in the ZIFA website as saying, “I think we were a little bit complacent especially in the first half but we were lucky in that we got an early goal but again we went to sleep and they equalised. We talked to the boys at half time and we managed to get three more goals but in between we went to sleep.
“We have work on the defence if we are to come up with something in this competition. We scored the second and third goals and we went to sleep again, they scored and we scored the fourth but we went to sleep again.”