The Zimbabwe Warriors posted a 3-1 win over old time rivals Zambia to be crowned champions of the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup tournament at the Royal Bafokeng Palace in South Africa today.
Zimbabwe becomes the first team to lift the COSAFA Cup for a record fifth time.
The fiercely contested encounter started off at a fair pace with Zambia dominating in the early stages.
Zimbabwe slowly picked up and both teams created chances which they however failed to convert.
Zimbabwe broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Knox Mutizwa headed home.
The Warriors continued to pile on the pressure and man-of-the-match Talent Chawapiwa missed a chance which could have given Zimbabwe the lead in the 23rd minute.
Five minutes later Mutizwa missed a golden opportunity when his effort went wide from inside the box.
Ocean Mushure could have added another one for the Warriors in the 32nd minute but his set-piece missed the goal by inches.
Zambia then regrouped and made frantic efforts and were denied by Warriors goalkeeper George Chigova six minutes later before they equalised through Lubinda Mundia.
The game went to half time tied at 1-all.
Zimbabwe came back from the breather a rejuvenated side and Chawapiwa gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead in the 55th minute when he slotted home from inside the area.
Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges became too strong for their opponents and kept mounting the pressure.
Their efforts were rewarded 13 minutes later when the cultured left foot Ocean Mushure buried a Chawapiwa cross using his weaker foot.
Meanwhile, captain Ovidy Karuru won the golden boot with six goals and Mutizwa scooped the player of the tournament award.