Lesotho & Zimbabwe progress to Cosafa Cup semis

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lesotho set up a potential semi-final showdown with Bafana Bafana at the 2019 Cosafa Cup after upsetting Uganda in one of two quarter-finals played at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday.

The Crocodiles won 3-2 via a penalty shoot-out after the two teams played out a goalless but exciting draw in which both goalkeepers made some thrilling saves.

In the second quarter-final, a full-strength Zimbabwe were easy 2-0 winners over Comoros thanks to a strike apiece from Absa Premiership duo Evans Rusike and Khama Billiat. Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa was pleased with their performance in Durban.

Unlike the other three teams that will be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt later this month, Zimbabwe have brought their A side to the Cosafa Cup to give them competitive match practice before the finals.

It means all their PSL stars are on show, while they also have their European players in the squad.

Chidzambwa, whose defending champions will play either Zambia or Malawi in the semis, says there were many positives to take out from the Comoros win.

Stand-in Lesotho coach Mpitsa Marai, meanwhile, was happy to get through what he emphasised was an extremely difficult showdown against the Ugandans.

The Cranes, like South Africa and Namibia, have not brought players that are expected to AFCON and it told as they were largely ordinary in KwaMashu.

Marai, who is in charge of Lesotho due to an illness that has befallen regular boss Moses Maliehe, was pleased to have put one over the Ugandans.

Lesotho, who will now meet either Bafana or Botswana in the next stage, then proved their efficiency in penalties as they easily overcame the woeful Uganda.

The East Africans scored just one of their first three penalties and two out of the total of five after Samuel Khetsekile twice saved for his side.

Marai praised the goalkeeper, adding that his ability to save spot-kicks also played a crucial role in helping reach the semis. – Report by Thahir Asmal