Match Report: Zambia Crowned COSAFA 2019 Champs

Austin Muwowo eludes the ball from a Botswana Player
Zambia were crowned 2019 COSAFA Cup champions after defeating Botswana 1-0 in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Zebras made two changes from their semi-final victory over Lesotho, with Thatayone Ditlhokwe and Norman Mabaya preferred in the line-up while Chipolopolo made only one change from their semi-final clash with Zimbabwe, with Clement Mulashi coming to the fray.

Botswana started on the front foot early on but they were lucky not to go behind in the 12th minute after Zambia striker Lazarous Kambole found a glorious opportunity to open the scoring, but he failed to take advantage with only goalkeeper Ezekiel Morake to beat.

Chipolopolo were coming out of their defensive shell towards the end of the first stanza which opened the encounter somewhat but the tempo of the game could not match the ambition from both sides and they went to the break without goals.

Zambia came out fired up in the early stages of the second stanza and nearly broke the deadlock five minutes after the break through Mulashi, whose free-header at the back post narrowly sailed over the bar following a corner.

The Zebras were struggling to find their rhythm going forward in the second stanza, which prompted Mpote to thrown on Gilbert Baruti in place of Mabaya with 20 minutes remaining for a change of fortunes in attack.

With the game getting needing some spark, Kaseba finally found the breakthrough for Chipolopolo in the last 12 minutes with a clinical low strike inside the box following a well cushioned header by Benson Sakala, 0-1.

Kaseba nearly put the game to bed for Zambia two minutes later with an acrobatic half-volley that crashed against the crossbar after being left unmarked in the centre of the box.

Sebastian Mwange bagged the goalkeeper of the tournament award
Botswana were desperate for the equaliser in the closing stages but they just could not find momentum as Zambia hung on to claim their seventh title.

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