COSAFA CUP: LESOTHO 3-4 ZIMBABWE – AS IT HAPPENED

Good evening and welcome to our coverage of the 2017 Cosafa Cup semifinal between Lesotho and Zimbabwe from the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg, on Wednesday 5 July.

Commentary
All times CAT

90+4′ – Full time – A seven-goal thriller between Lesotho and Zimbabwe, with the latter winning 4-3 to advance into the final. What a great night of football, 13 goals in the two semifinals! Zambia and Zimbabwe will battle for the Cosafa Cup crown on Sunday!

90+3′ – GOAL! Lesotho 3-4 Zimbabwe – Moyo trips up a Lesotho attacker in the box and it’s a penalty! Koetle takes the spot kick and converts to make it 4-3! Too little, too late, surely…

90′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

87′ – Still these two teams pound away at each other. Lesotho aren’t quite in Zimbabwe’s weight division – to coin a boxing metaphor – but they’ve shown great heart.

84′ – Great stuff from Zimbabwe, they showed no nerves of giving the game away and simply backed themselves to take the lead back out to two goals.

83′ – GOAL! Lesotho 2-4 Zimbabwe – But the two-goal advantage is restored almost immediately and it’s a hat-trick (finally!) for Mutizwa! Messy at the back from Lesotho and Mutizwa exchanges passes with Manuvire before finishing easily from close range!

80′ – GOAL! Lesotho 2-3 Zimbabwe – But just when you write Lesotho off, Khutlang does brilliantly to gift Potloane a tap-in to reduce the deficit! Game on!

79′ – Karuru penalised in Lesotho’s box for a push on a defender. It’s hard to see a way back for Likuena now.

77′ – Zimbabwe’s second change sees the excellent Chawapiwa make way for Katsvairo.

73′ – Karuru crosses from the right, Mutizwa gets a header on target but it’s straight at Mputhi! Mutizwa should have a hat-trick by now…

69′ – It’s looking very much like the final will be contested between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with the winners set to become the first team to win five Cosafa Cup titles.

66′ – Karuru with a diving header which is bravely blocked, and Chawapiwa then tries a long range effort which is high and wide. The Warriors aren’t satisfied with three goals…

64′ – GOAL! Lesotho 1-3 Zimbabwe – Chawapiwa picks up a loose ball near Lesotho’s box, cuts inside and cracks home a super drive into the top corner! Zimbabwe now well in control!

63′ – Lesotho’s second change sees Potloane replace Kalake in midfield.

61′ – Past the hour mark, Zimbabwe in the ascendancy but there’s a long way to go in this one and it has the feeling of a game which has more goals to come…

58′ – Khutlang  leads a counter attack which ends with him firing a left-footed effort into the back of the net, but he’s flagged offside in a very tight decision!

56′ – Mutizwa drives an effort on goal fro range, Mputhi punches the strike away.

53′ – That goal was no less than Zimbabwe deserved for a positive start to the second stanza.

51′ – GOAL! Lesotho 1-2 Zimbabwe – The Warriors are back in front! Chawapiwa’s diagonal pass finds Mutizwa, who finishes coolly with the left foot for his second of the night!

49′ – Lesotho’s Koetle shoots direct from a free kick, but it’s well over the target.

47′ – In fact the Warriors have made one change, with Manuvire introduced in place of Mucheneka.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either side at the break.

45+1′ – Half time – It’s 1-1 at the break, with Mutizwa’s goal cancelled out by Motebang’s equaliser – and what a great tactical change that was from Likuena coach Moses Maliehe.

44′ – Chipeta looks to put Zim back in front as he meets a corner kick at the far post, but his effort is into the side netting.

42′ – GOAL! Lesotho 1-1 Zimbabwe – Lesotho back on level terms and it’s the substitute Motebang who scores! A free kick into the box falls at his feet and he controls before a lunging shot into the back of the net for 1-1!

38′ – A Lesotho corner almost sees Mokhehle sneak the ball home after Maway drops a cross, but the effort is cleared off the goal line!

37′ – Motebang’s introduction has seen Lesotho opt for a more direct style of play and thus far it’s putting more pressure on Zimbabwe’s defence.

33′ – Lesotho make an early change as Tale is replaced by Motebang.

30′ – Mushure looks to shoot direct from a long-range free kick, but can’t get the better of the defensive wall.

29′ – Zimbabwe playing with far more fluency and confidence now.

26′ – Moyo with a superb run from midfield before squaring for Mutizwa, who fires wide of the goalkeeper’s right-hand post! That should have been 2-0…

23′ – Past the midway point of the first half, it’s Zimbabwe who lead 1-0 in this second semifinal.

22′ – Lesotho maybe have a right to feel aggrieved that they have started the match so well and find themselves trailing, but their defending for Mutizwa’s goal was diabolical.

19′ – GOAL! Lesotho 0-1 Zimbabwe – The Warriors hit the lead after just a short period of pressure! A corner kick delivered into the middle of the six-yard area is easily tapped home by Mutizwa, shocking marking from Lesotho!

18′ – Lesotho ‘keeper Mputhi dallies on the ball, Karuru has a sight of an open goal but can’t direct a shot on target!

17′ – Zimbabwe’s first shot comes through a long-range effort from Mushure which is way off target.

15′ – Mushure with a hopeful ball forward for Mutizwa to chase, but it comes to nothing. Zimbabwe can’t quite get going in this semifinal.

12′ – Khutlang steals the ball off Mucheneka and gets a shot away, but Mawaya gets down low to make a solid save.

10′ – Zimbabwe haven’t managed to settle into a spell of possession, Lesotho have done a great job in harrying them in midfield.

7′ – Safe handling from Mawaya as he catches a free kick sent into his box.

6′ – Likuena have started strongly, they are not overawed by the challenge of facing the Warriors at all.

5′ – The first corner goes the way of Lesotho. Kalake plays it short, receives the ball back and looks for an in-swinging cross, but it’s no real danger to Zim’s defence.

3′ – The first shot in anger comes from Lesotho’s Khutlang, but his long-range effort is easy for Mawaya to handle.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway at Moruleng Stadium! Lesotho wear all green, while Zimbabwe are in all yellow.

19h25 – The teams are out on the pitch for the national anthems, kick-off just a few minutes away.

19h05 – We’re less than half an hour away from kick-off in the second semifinal. The first match of the day saw Zambia defeat Tanzania to advance into the final. Here are the line-ups for Lesotho and Zimbabwe…

Lesotho: Mputhi, Moremoholo, Tseka, Mokhehle, Sello, Mahula, Koetle, Kalake, Khutlang, Ntso, Tale

Zimbabwe: Mawaya, Chipeta, Tigere, Chakoroma, Moyo, Takwara, Chawapiwa, Mucheneka, Karuru, Mushure, Mutizwa

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