THE ZIMBABWE Under-20 soccer team bombed out of the Cosafa tournament in Lesotho yesterday after losing 3-4 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to South Africa in the semi-finals.
The two teams had finished the match tied 0-0 in regulation time.
Siphelele Luthuli emerged the hero after scoring the winning penalty which sent South Africa into the final of the youth tournament, where they will meet the winner between Angola and Kenya. Zimbabwe goalkeeper Bernard Donovan almost had his glove to the ball, but could not punch out of goal sending a predominantly South African crowd into delirium.
Those wild celebrations were naturally expected given that SA had managed to hold their nerves and force a 0-0 draw in regulation time after their goalkeeper Jody February was given a straight red card on 47 minutes for coming out of his line and scooping the ball with his hand as he attempted to close in on Livingstone Genti who had raced clear after a good set-up from the middle of the pitch.
February was replaced by Dumisani Msibi and the latter made a number of fine stops in the second period in an assured performance. Still Zimbabwe had the better chances with Walter Musona causing anxious moments for Amajita with his well-calculated passes and some sudden bursts of speed.