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Zebras Misses Out On COSAFA Title

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Zebras lost to Zambia in the final of the COSAFA Cup PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The COSAFA Cup once again eluded the Zebras when they lost 1-0 to Zambia in the final on Saturday afternoon. Tapson Banda’s solitary strike in the 77th minute was enough to give Chipolopolo the title as Zebras finished as runners-up.

The Zebras have never won the COSAFA title but have now reached the final twice. Not much was expected when they left for Durban but Zebras proved they have the capability when they first kicked out South Africa in the quarterfinal. They staged a thrilling comeback in the second half after conceding twice in the first half.

Following head coach, Mogomotsi Mpote’s pep talk at half time, the Zebras came out of the tunnel inspired and Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Lebogang Ditsele scored twice to level matters.

They went onto win through a penalty shootout. In the next fixture, the Zebras beat Lesotho 2-1 courtesy of Segolame Boy and Joel Mogorosi’s strikes.

However goals dried up in the final and Mpote was quoted saying his charges seemed to

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panic when they reached the final third. Mpote will however be encouraged going forward as his side is mainly dominated by young players. Mpote becomes the first local coach to take the Zebras to the COSAFA Cup final.

Only Peter Butler has managed to do that before.

Meanwhile Zebras trio, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Ezekiel Morake and Thero Setsile will finally join their new side, TS Galaxy this coming season. Setsile and Gaolaolwe could have joined the ambitious side last season but had to return to Botswana after a transfer deadline day mix-up.

 Other players including Ditsele, Mothusi Cooper and Ditlholwe are said to have impressed scouts in South Africa.

Cooper in particular was impressive in the 2-1 win over Lesotho and won the man of the match.



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