Karuru hat-trick seals Zimbabwe passage to Cosafa Cup quarterfinal

Ovidy Karuru of Zimbabwe during the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zimbabwe and Seychelles at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg South Africa on 30 June 2017. BackpagePix

Ovidy Karuru notched a hat-trick as Zimbabwe turned in a goal feast on Friday to ensure progress in the Cosafa Cup, when they beat the Seychelles 6-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace to win Group B.

Defender Ocean Mushure came on as a second half substitute to grab two goals and Prince Dube also contributed in a one-sided victory that ensured top spot in the first round. Zimbabwe will now meet Swaziland in a quarter-final meeting in South Africa on Sunday.

The Warriors finished ahead of Madagascar, who notched a 4-1 victory over Mozambique at the Moruleng Stadium at the same time. They had a two-goal advantage going into Friday's sequence of games and were never in any danger of not finishing top.

Karuru now has five goals for the tournament. Dube, who played for the first time at the tournament, made it 3-0 in the 56th minute before a powerful header from Karuru added a fourth 11 minutes later.

Mushure contributed his double in the final five minutes, first with an in-swinging free kick from an audacious angle and then a storming run down the left wing before slotting a powerful shot into the back.

The win fell one short of the Seychelles' 7-0 tournament record win over Mauritius nine years ago.

Madagascar also had to win, and by two goals better than Zimbabwe, which was always going to be a tough ask. But they gave it a go with two strikes from Claudel Fanomezana and one each from Ranaivoson Ndrantoharilala and Rinjala Raherinaivo.

Arnaldo grabbed a goal for Mozambique, to make the score 1-1 midway through the first half, but they finished the game down to 10 men after a red card for Nuno following a horror-tackle.

Madagascar depart the tournament without defeat and will feel desperately unlucky.