Zimbabwe beat Botswana 3 – 1 to progress to the COSAFA semi-final. Evans Rusike opened the scoring for the Warriors, but Onkabetse Makgantai levelled matters for the Zebras. Zimbabwe beat Botswana 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in a Cosafa Cup quarter-final match at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
Botswana advanced to the quarter-finals after winning Group B and in-form attackers Kabelo Seakanyeng and Onkabetse Makgantai were included in the starting line-up. Seakanyeng and Makgantai netted twice and thrice respectively for the Zebras in the group stage, while Mwampule Masule kept his place in Botswana goal for Major David Bright’s side.
The Warriors saw most of the ball in the opening stages of the game and they nearly grabbed an early lead through outgoing Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Billiat. The tricky forward burst into the Zebras box and he unleashed a low shot which was well-saved by goalkeeper Masule, who is on the books of Township Rollers.
The Botswana defence which was led by hard-tackling Tebogo Sosome looked solid and organized with South Africa doing most of the attacking. Amidu, who plies his trade in Egypt for El Entag El Harby SC, thought he had made it 1-0 to Zimbabwe just after the half-hour mark, but his goal was disallowed as he was offside.
A rare attack by Botswana saw Chigova produce a good save to deny Makgantai from close range following delightful cross by Lesenya Ramoraka. The Zebras were left to rue that chance as the Warriors took the lead through Rusike, who was sent through on goal by Billiat, and he beat Masule with a well-taken shot to a make it 1-0 to Zimbabwe in the 39th minute.
The last chance of the first half fell for Makgantai, but the 2016 Cosafa Cup Player of the Tournament was denied by Polokwane City shot-stopper Chigova. Zimbabwe were leading 1-0 at the interval following a lively first half in Limpopo Province’s main city, Polokwane
Botswana coach Bright made a double substitution eight minutes into the second half – introducing Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Tumisang Orebonye. The Zebras applied some pressure on the Warriors defence and they managed to level matters through Makgantai, who scored with a header from Kgamanyane’s corner-kick to make it 1-1.
It was then end-to-end stuff as Billiat forced Masule into a top save before Gaborone United striker Orebonye missed the target with Chigova well-beaten. The two teams struggled to create clear-cut chances in the closing stages of the game as they both lost possession in the final third. Botswana and Zimbabwe drew 1-1, and a penalty shootout followed following another entertaining half.
Zimbabwe went on to secure a 3-1 win on penalties after Chigova had denied Orebonye, Sosome and Kgamanyane. The victory saw Zimbabwe book their place in the semi-finals, while Botswana will play in the plate semi-finals.