Zimbabwe beat Botswana to book semi-final spot

Zimbabwe beat Botswana to book semi-final spot
Lesenya Ramoraka of Botswana challenged by Talent Cghawapiwa of Zimbabwe during the 2018 COSAFA quarter finals match between Zimbabwe and Botswana at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 03 June 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Jun 03, 2018. 19:58

Zimbabwe defeated Botswana 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the 2018 Cosafa Cup quarter-final match at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Sunday afternoon.

As a result, the Warriors of Zimbabwe advanced to the semi-finals, while Botswana's Zebras will participate in the plate semi-finals.

The Warriors pressed the Zebras from the start and they had a chance to break the deadlock four minutes into the encounter.

Khama Billiat made a run into the Zimbabwe box, before forcing Botswana goalkeeper Mwampule Masulue into a low save.

Zimbabwe continued to attack, but they were very wasteful in front of goal as the likes Ovidy Karuru and Evans Rusike missed the target.

Botswana defence which was marshalled by Lesego Keredilwe was forced to defend very deep to contain the Zimbabwean attack.

The Zebras grew in confidence as the game progressed and Onkabetse Makgantai forced Zimbabwe keeper George Chigova into a good save in the 33rd minute.

However, the Warriors did break the deadlock in the 39th minute when Billiat sent Rusike on goal and he hit the back of the net.

Botswana tried to respond with a goal, but Makgantai, who was looking lively was denied by Chigova to ensure that the first ended with Zimbabwe leading 1-0.

Zimbabwe continued to dominate the match after restart and they nearly doubled their lead in the 48th minute when Abbas Amidu's header was pushed away.

The hard-running striker had another chance to chance to score eight minutes later, but once again Masule made a good save to deny Amidu.

The Warriors were left to rue those missed chances as Botswana were able to restore parity through Orapa United forward Makgantai.

The diminutive forward, who scooped the 2016 COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament award, headed past Chigova to make 1-1 for Botswana in 60th minute.

Zimbabwe tried to restore their lead nine minutes later through Billiat, whose effort was parried away by Township Rollers shot-stopper Masule.

The Warriors kept pushing for a late goal and Talent Chawapiwa had a chance to shoot in the 78th minute, but his effort was block by the Botswana defence.

Botswana were able to contain Zimbabwe until the match referee blew the final whistle and the two teams went into a penalty shootout.

Zimbabwe won 3-1 on penalties after Tebogo Sosome, Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Tumisang Orebonye had missed from the spot-kick.

Zimbabwe (1) 1 (Rusike 39')

Botswana (0) 1 (Makgantai 60')

Zimbabwe won 3-1 penalties.

Zimbabwe:Chigova, Lunga, Mudimu, Moyo, Mukombwe, Munetsi, Karuru (Hachiro 56'), Billiat, Chawapiwa (Kadewere 82'), Amidu, Rusike (Djvukamanja 84').

Botswana: Masule, Maikano, Ramoraka, Keredilwe, Sosome, Modisaotsile, Seakanyeng, Mohutsiwa (Kgamanyane 53'), Makgantai, Modingwane, Phiri (Orebonye 53').

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