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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 August 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Zimbabwe clinch Cosafa Cup title
By Mark Gleeson
Football Correspondent, Mmabatho

Zimbabwe coach Charles Mhlauri
Charles Mhlauri lead Zimbabwe to the Cosafa Cup title

Zimbabwe edged out their neighbours Zambia 1-0 to win the Cosafa Cup in South Africa on Sunday.

Francis Chandida settled the trophy in favour of the Warriors with a strike six minutes before the end of a toughly fought final in Mmabatho.

The result proved a major shock as the Zimbabwean side, who had only arrived for the finals in South Africa with locally-based players, outlasted their more fancied opponents in the four-team tournament.

Zimbabwe beat defending champions Angola 2-1 on Saturday and then played the same team, save for one change, in another 90 minutes of action in Sunday's decider.

There were few clear cut chances in a measured approach from both teams, who risked little in front of a small crowd at the Mmabatho stadium.

We had sought all along to try and win the title and it really is a wonderful achievement for us
Zimbabwe coach Charles Mhlauri

Zambia's hopes of using their speedy wingers were neutralised by a fine defensive performance from Herbert Dick, named man of the match, and the captain James Matola, who was the best player in Saturday's 2-1 semi-final win over Angola.

Christopher Katongo had a number of half chances but Zimbabwe were equally as industrious as Brain Badza tested the Zambian defence. He was later named as the best player of the tournament.

The only goal of the game after a lapse in the Zambian defence as Chandida played a cleaver one-two with Sageby Sandaka before calmly picking his spot and slotting the ball past Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

"We had sought all along to try and win the title and it really is a wonderful achievement for us," beamed coach Charles Mhlauri afterwards.

Captain Matola said Zimbabwe had ┐achieved our mission┐.

It was their third triumph in the annual southern African championship, having won the title in 2002 and 2003.

For Zambia it was a second successive finish as runners-up after losing to Angola on penalties in last year's final in Lusaka.

A disappointed coach Kalusha Bwalya said his players had tired but that Zimbabwe deserved to be congratulated for their effort.

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