Goalkeeper, George Chigova has refused to take credit for the Warriors’ victory over Botswana in the Cosafa Cup quarter-finals, with his three saves in the penalty shoot-out that helped the team’s passage to today’s semi-final against Lesotho.
BY HENRY MHARA IN POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA
Speaking ahead of the match, which is a repeat of last year’s semis, where Zimbabwe won 4-3, Chigova, who will lead the team in the absence of the injured captain, Ovidy Karuru, said they thrive on teamwork and should continue on that path if they are achieve their goals.
“We have different roles to play in the team and I am happy that I managed to do mine and won. It was about teamwork. The other guys also played their part. They scored their penalties and if they hadn’t scored, we could not have won, so everyone contributed towards the victory and we should continue working as a team,” he said.
Chigova is seeking an improvement from his colleagues, when they take on the Crocodiles.
“We played a team that had played three matches, so they had momentum. Thankfully, we contained them and managed to go through. We face a team that has been in the competition longer than us in this edition and they also have some momentum.”
The former Dynamos goal minder said they felt the absence of Karuru, but other players should stand up and be counted.
“We will feel the effects of his absence because he is our leader, but we have 20 players in camp, and the one, who will come in has a chance to impress. We wish Karuru a speedy recovery. Everyone in the team is a leader, it’s just that there is someone who should be seen wearing an armband and that’s me. To be honest, everyone should lead and we support each other all the way.”
While he emerged the hero the last time around, he doesn’t want to go through the nerve-wracking experience of penalty kicks again. Chigova wants the game to end in regulation time.
“We know what is at stake, we are prepared. We have to make it easy for ourselves and avoid going to the penalties. The supporters should come and support us. It was special, the way they supported us. Their contribution lifted us, and we hope they can continue that.”
Chigova was on the bench for this tie last year, as coach, Sunday Chidzambga reserved him for the finals.
He was also one yellow card away from suspension, and the coach could not risk playing him in that match. The gamble almost backfired as Lesotho came from 3-0 down at halftime, to score three times after the break, with two of the goals due to goal-keeping blunders.
Chigova is expected to keep his place between the sticks for this match, and probably the final, if Zimbabwe win today.