The first round matches of the 2017 edition of the COSAFA Cup tournament currently underway in the North West province of South Africa have seen Zimbabwe making a bold declaration of their intentions with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of neighbours, Mozambique in a Group B opener at Moruleng Stadium.
Mozambique, still basking in their AFCON glory over Zambia a fortnight ago, found the going tough against a Zimbabwe under the tutelage of their most decorated coach to date, Sunday Chidzambwa, who has previously lifted the Cosafa Cup with the team twice (2003 and 2009).
A brace from captain Ovidy Karuru (43’ and 64’) set the Warriors on the warpath before Ocean Mushure (77’) trebled the advantage with a cheeky long range free kick. “Newboy”, Blessing Majarira, put the icing on the cake with a 93rd minute goal on his international debut.
Zimbabwe will now face Madagascar on Wednesday in their second match. The islanders dispatched Seychelles 2-0 in the second match of the evening at Moruleng Stadium on Monday with Morelin Ardino and Rinjala Raherinaivo finding the target.
Madagascar are no push-overs as they demonstrated against Malawi in the CHAN 2018 qualifier before choking another impressive win over Sudan in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.
Meanwhile, in Group A, Malawi’s woes continued on Sunday when they suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Tanzania. They were joined by Angola in singing the blues as the Black Panthers were surprised 0-1 by Mauritius.
The Group A winner will lock horns with reigning COSAFA Cup champions, Bafana Bafana, in the first quarter final match on Sunday while Group B will meet Swaziland in the last of the quarter finals later that day.
The COSAFA Castle Cup is a tournament to showcase home-based talent for countries in the Southern African region.