Caps United …….. (0) 3
Hwange …………(0) 1
Former Cup Kings CAPS United produced a spirited second-half performance to ease into the NetOne EasyCall Cup semi-finals with a comfortable win over visitors Hwange at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Following a drab first-half in which both teams failed to break the deadlock, former Highlanders and FC Platinum star Joel Ngodzo stole the show as he led the Makepekepe assault with a goal and an assist to cap a man-of-the-match showing.
Captain, Moses Muchenje and Hardlife Zvirekwi were also on the score sheet, as the Harare giants made a statement in the quarter-finals of the NetOne-sponsored cup tournament.
Striker Alick Marime grabbed a consolation goal for the coalminers who fizzled out of the game in the second-half, albeit under controversial circumstances late in the match.
Hwange coach Nation Dube was left a bitter man and blamed the defeat on the controversial penalty spot that was awarded to CAPS United for the first goal of the match.
“That penalty changed the complexion of the game, but I am afraid if I say more I will be charged, so it’s better I just keep quiet. My guys started playing football when CAPS United were already 3-0 up as they took long to recover from that penalty shock, but unfortunately the damage had already been done,” he said.
Chipangano played counter attacking football in the first-half and looked dangerous each time they went on a raid, but failure to produce the final pass let them down.
CAPS United clearly dominated possession, but initially failed to break the stubborn visitors’ backline.
Hwange goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya tipped Dominic Mukandi’s goal-bound volley over the bar in the 17th minute and had to thank the upright post for keeping out Dominic Chungwa’s glancing header in first-half injury time.
The controversial moment came in the 54th minute when Ngodzo roasted his marker on the far side and squared a beautiful pass for Phineas Bamusi to tap in, but Phakamani Dube, who made a last ditch challenge, was adjudged to have impeded on Bamusi as the referee pointed to the spot.
Muchenje rifled the spot kick to give the hosts the lead.
In the 74th minute, Ngodzo produced another moment of magic as he skipped past his marker, as well as the drawn-out Takabva and his looping shot nestled into the empty net to extend the Green Machine’s lead.
Zvirekwi benefitted from lovely interplay involving Bamusi and Ngodzo four minutes later as the former Bosso midfielder rolled the ball on the path of Zvirekwi whose rising shot found the top corner of the net.
With CAPS United in control, Marime capitalised from hesitant defending in the Green Machine box to beat Jorum Muchambo from close range and save face for Hwange with four minutes left.
“There is nothing that satisfies the coach [more] than to see the things that you do in training being reproduced in a game situation and we look to continue doing the same in the competition. It was not an easy match, but we are happy to have won,” CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe said.