FORGET that the Warriors did not manage to score a goal in regulation time of their first two matches but still prevailed.
Forget that the Warriors needed the penalty lottery in those two games to progress to the final. Forget that giant shot-stopper George Chigova was the turn-to star during those shootouts with his show-stopping saves between the sticks. This was simply a scintillating tournament for Warriors gaffer Sunday Chidzambwa because he added a few more glorious lines to his fairytale chapter in the Cosafa Cup. Forget that this was a characteristic Chidzambwa team, where he prefers towering centre backs because it was refreshing to watch a ball-hugging Kelvin Moyo who was comfortably able to roll out play from deep his own goal area.
Forget that this was a squad with typical Chidzambwa fingerprints that sacrifices craft for graft (watch again the manner in which we conceded the first goal – a hoof up-field by goalie Chigova from a goal-kick, possession lost from that 50-50 high ball, upon gaining possession a neat interexchange of passes by Chipolopolo, a sweetly threaded sumptuous through pass, a score, and they pull level to 1-1) because it nonetheless got the job completed. Done and dusted.
In the end it all ensured that Zimbabwe have won the most matches and the cup the most times in the region. In the end, this was another memorably special outing for Chidzambwa, who continues to enjoy peerless success in the competition. Trend-setting. Record-breaking. Record-extending. Unrivalled accomplishments. All this iced and sweetened in an afternoon’s shift last Saturday at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa during the occasion of the Cosafa Cup final catapulted Sunday to legendary status in both our national game’s history and that of that tournament.
Chidzambwa, the former Warriors defence stalwart and skipper has not lost a single game over the period he has been in charge at the tournament – a dozen-and-a-half matches on. While Chidzambwa was winning the cup for the fourth time as a coach, the Warriors were picking their sixth such as a team. And Zimbabwe as a country was, as have two other powerhouses Zambia and South Africa before, retaining the title as defending champions.
During this Battle of Zambezi fought in Limpopo Province, Zambia coach Beston Chambeshi’s best was not good enough to conquer Chidzambwa and the Warriors.
After a Saturday like this, very few, if any, would begrudge Chidzambwa, if he, on the morrow, a day he shares a name with, crooned to Lionel Richie’s “Easy (Like A Sunday Morning)” after another triumphant excursion in the Cosafa Cup.
In the end this simply was a super Saturday for Sunday.
Sights and Sounds
By Chambeshi’s acknowledgement, the Warriors were spurred by a predominantly Zimbabwe fan-base in the terraces – a placard-waving and flag-flying multitude that rooted for the side with sustained fervour, whose “Nyama Yekugocha” chants sound-tracked their squad’s finest hour and unprecedented victory. Substitute midfielder Richard Hachiro was also difficult to ignore and impossible to overlook. Cutting the silhouette of a modern-averse, yesteryear footballer with his shirt neatly tucked in his tie-corded pair of shorts, he performed a tidy task mopping up the mess in front of the back four that protected the ‘keeper and the goal area. If it is about football that you care let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
Where one genuinely stretched out his hand to provide transport, accommodation and meals for the Warriors, why does he mention the gesture now? Was this done to get favours for him to have his team prevail in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League? These football clubs owned by individuals are short-lived like music bands in our country. When the funds for sponsorship are hard to come by, one ought to say the truth than blame the custodians of the game. – Richard Mahuhushe Chauke.
Mutare City Rovers, after their 2-1 win over CAPS United, disappointed by losing to Dynamos. Gusha Bhora have lost five matches in the latter stages of the game and I have observed that they lack communication, especially at the back. The players also seem to lack the endurance to last the entire 90 minutes. We call upon the coaches to work on the boys’ fitness. Their game is good, though. – Tawanda Mhlanga.
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