Libya through to CHAN final

CHAN logo (File)
CHAN logo (File)

Bloemfontein - Libya went through to the CHAN final after triumphing 4-3 over Zimbabwe in a penalty shoot-out at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Zimbabweans threatened on attack through regulation and extra time and should have finished the match off before the penalty shoot-out.

In the first half Libya were happy to keep things compact, Zimbabwe making the running but battling to squeeze through the tight net their opposition had created in defence.

Zimbabwe were able to get in an early chance when Danny Phiri tested keeper Mohamed Abdaula with a low skidding shot off the wet turf, which he managed to parry to safety.

Five minutes later, the Warriors' early attacking dominance again came to the fore when Ali Sadiki created space for himself with a neat touch before firing in a swerving 30-yard effort which Abdaula did well to tip over the bar.

Libya's only real chance in the first half came in the opening 15 minutes, when Mohamed Ghanudi headed wide of the goal at the back post.

There was another decent chance for the southern Africans before half-time, but Simba Sithole sent a header wide of goal after being played in by Milton Ncube.

For a brief period after the break the Libyans looked threatening going forward, but it was again the Warriors who looked more likely to score.

The ever-lively and dangerous Sadiki tested Abdaula with a couple of long range efforts midway through the stanza.

Zimbabwe finally had the ball in the net, but Simbarashe Sithole's 78th minute clinical finish was ruled off-sides.

The game's pace maintained through extra time. Elmutasem Abuschnaf came close with a shot from an acute angle, while Sithole had a goal-bound shot saved by a defender after a solo run by Mahachi.

In the penalty shootout Sithole struck the woodwork, Peter Moyo fired over, while Ncube and Sadiki both had their spot kicks saved by Abdaula.

Zimbabwe's goalkeeper George Chigova also made two stops; from Libya captain Ali Salama and Ahmed Tribi, while Mohammed Mahfud blazed his shot into the stands.

Abdaula however was to be the decider, the Mediterranean Knights custodian stepping up to take the final kick, hammering the ball into the bottom corner.

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