Zimbabwe Dramatically Deny Chipolopolo Revenge

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar December 11, 2018 03:10

Zimbabwe Dramatically Deny Chipolopolo Revenge

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By Satish Sekar in Polokwane © Satish Sekar (June 9th 2010)

Zimbabwe, just seconds away from defeat, took advantage of Ronald Kampamba’s shocking miss to dash upfield to grab a 93rd minute equaliser that forced extra time. Khama Billiat’s brace in extra time prevented Zambia drawing level with Zimbabwe’s record tally of COSAFA Cups. Instead Sunday Chidzambwa saw his team extend that record to six.

Interim coach Beston Chambeshi, who succeeded Wedson Nyirenda, after Nyirenda departed for local Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit, Baroka saw joy turn to despair as the title was snatched away.

Leading 2-1 through a Lazarous Kambole brace Zambia chased the clincher in added time, but failed to convert a 3 on 1 attack. With the goal gaping, Chambeshi’s club striker, Ronald Kampamba contrived to hit the post. Zimbabwe gratefully accepted the reprieve. Philana Kadewere added to his 4th minute opener almost 90 minutes later – Billiat put him through to send a pulsating match into extra time.

Kadewere gave Chidzambwa’s team the dream start after sloppy defending gifted possession to him. The dream was short-lived as Zesco United striker, Kambole equalised three minutes later, capping off a fine team move by rounding Zimbabwe’s penalty shoot-out colossus George Chigova and scoring. Kambole, a late bloomer, made his Chipolopolo bow, aged 27 at the African Championship (CHAN) earlier this year – he scored on debut.

Less than five minutes into the second half Kambole gave Zambia the lead from a tight angle on the left. Shortly before the end Kambole was substituted.

When asked why his ‘match-winning striker was substituted, Chambeshi said that Kambole was injured and had aske to come off. It shouldn’t have mattered, but Kampama’s terrible miss proved crucial. Zimbabwe had been profligate too as midfielder Alex Mudimu missed a sitter when Zambia’s keeper Toaster Nsabata flapped at and missed a cross. Mudimu who plays in Wales Premier League for Cefn Druids somehow headed wide.

Kadewere sent the match into extra time. Kampamba then compounded his error by conceding the match winning penalty with a striker’s tackle on Billiat, who picked himself up to score the winner. With three minutes remaining, Billiat added a second to make it safe.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar December 11, 2018 03:10