Zimbabwe edge Zambia on penalties to book spot in Four Nations Tournament final


FOOTBALL Zimbabwe edge Zambia on penalties to book spot in Four Nations Tournament final

Festus Chuma 17:36 - 23.03.2024

Zimbabwe and Zambia drew 2-2 in normal time in the Four Nations Tournament opener; the Chipolopolo will now face the loser of the Malawi-Kenya match for third place.

Zimbabwe have booked themselves a spot in the final of the Malawi's Four Nations Tournament after a penalty shootout victory over Zambia in the match played at Bingu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors will now face the winner of the second match between tournament hosts Malawi and Kenya in the grand finale, while Zambia will be vying for third place in a play-off scheduled for Tuesday, March 26.

Zambia broke the deadlock in the opening minute when Kebson Kamanga's free-kick was headed in by Chipolopolo captain Stoppilla Sunzu.

Tinorenda Kadewere could have scored an equalizer a few minutes later but the Nantes forward managed to drag his effort wide off the target, after a delightful through ball by Jordan Zemura.

Swift passing in and around the area by Zambia resulted in Clatous Chama curling the ball from outside the box, producing a well-placed finish into the top corner to make it 2-0.

Norman Mapenza’s side squandered a chance in the 24th minute this time through Marshall Munetsi who pulled his effort wide from 12 yards out.

However, in-form Cambridge United forward Macaulay Bonne was not to be denied as he connected with Daniel Musendami to reduce the deficit.

Five minutes later, Zambia had a chance to extend their lead, but Chama let the ball fly from just outside the box. His effort sailed inches wide off the right-hand post.

Zimbabwe grew stronger as the half drew to a close, and they found an equalizer at the stroke of halftime through former Sekhukhune United striker Walter Musona, making it 2-2.

The second half saw Zimbabwe seeing a bit more of the ball and they had a couple of long-range shots early in the half.

However, the momentum of the game soon took the same pattern as the first as the Chipolopolo began to control matters and nearly confirmed their dominance minutes past the hour mark but Chama missed a sitter.

Warriors' Jordan Zemura tried his luck from distance 10 minutes later but the defender fired his free-kick straight at goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga who comfortably held on.

Zambia were left frustrated by Bernard Donavan in the 74th minute, as he produced a finger-tip fine save to keep out Marshal Munetsi's long-range effort.

Zimbabwe also had a chance on a counter-attack five minutes later after Karisa went through on goal on the blindside but his close-range strike was blocked off the line by Garananga Munashe.

Ten minutes later Warriors almost went ahead for the first time, with super-sub Blessing Makunike striking an effort onto Mulenga’s left-hand post. 

That proved to be as close as Norman Mapeza's charges would come to a winner, though they created intense pressure in the closing stages which Zambia did well to resist.

With no meaningful offensive threat from any side in four minutes of added time, the contest would eventually be settled via a penalty shootout.

How they lined up:

Zambia; Lawrence Mulenga, Bendict Chepteshi, Kebson Kamanga, Sunzu Szopila, Dominic Chanda, Miguel Chaiwa, Gampani Lungu, Clatous Chama, Emmanuel Banda, Kennedy Musonda, Patson Daka

Zimbabwe: Bernard Donavan, Garananga Munashe, Jordan Zemura, Gerald Takwara, Teenage Habede, Marshall Munetsi, Andy Rinomhota, Walter Musona, Daniel Musendami, Tinorenda Kadewere, Macaulay Bonne