CAPS United . . . . . . . . 2(4)
Mutare City Rovers . . 0(1)
CAPS United reignited their championship aspirations in spectacular fashion after romping to a 4-1 victory over visiting Mutare City Rovers at the National Sports Stadium.
BY TAWANDA TADERERA
Yesterday’s emphatic drabbing of Mutare City not only served to end their three match winless streak, but also closed the gap on leaders FC Platinum to just two points.
An impressive all-round display by CAPS United saw Tafadzwa Rusike and Leonard Tsipa giving the home side a two goal cushion in the first half before a goal each from Joel Ngodzo and Simba Nhivi after the break added extra gloss to the scoreline.
Mutare City Rovers, however, briefly gave the home side some anxious moments with Agrippa Murimba’s goal after the break but eventually it ended up being a mere consolation goal.
The Green Machine’s title dream had been dented by two draws and a loss in their last three matches, but yesterday’s victory which was also aided by FC Platinum’s draw to reigning champions Chicken Inn at Mandava Stadium, leaving them firmly back in the race for the championship.
After completely dominating the opening exchanges against a Mutare City side, which offered very little in attack CAPS United opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Rusike, who found the roof of the net with a rising shot after being set-up by Tsipa.
The goal by Rusike — his second of the season ensured CAPS maintained their grip on the match as they never allowed their opponents to settle into the match.
The hosts were, however, dealt a blow when Abbas Amidu limped out with a hamstring injury in the 20th minute before Rusike was also withdrawn due to another injury eight minutes later and replaced by Moses Muchenje.
But the injuries to the key players only seemed to further strengthen the Harare giants’ resolve.
Abbas’ replacement almost made an instant impact after his cross from the right was headed just wide by Tsipa.
Muchenje was also guilty of wasting another gilt-edged opportunity after failing to tap home the rebound from a Joel Ngodzo effort, which had cannoned off the crossbar.
Tsipa made sure the home side would not regret the missed opportunities by slotting home from another rebound after Mutare City goalkeeper Victor Twaliki had parried Ngodzo’s low shot into his path.
After completely dominating the first half CAPS United took their feet off the pedal after the break and were punished when Murimba dribbled past a badly exposed Edmore Sibanda to score in the 62nd minute.
Although the goal briefly rejuvenated the visitors, their joy was short-lived as Makepekepe maintained a firm grip on the match through a moment of sheer brilliance from Ngodzo two minutes later.
The skillful midfielder who was dominating the exchanges in the middle of the park noticed the Mutare City goalie wander from his goal line and unleashed a long range shot which dipped over the retreating former CAPS goalkeeper.
The third goal seemed to end Mutare City’s resolve as CAPS capitalised on another error by Twaliki in the 85th minute when he failed to cut off a cross from the left allowing Nhivi to score the fourth goal.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe, whose charges had not scored four goals in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter since April last year was a happy man after an impressive perfomance by his players.
“I’m happy with the win, it’s been a while since we scored more than two goals in a match and to score four goals was a good result,” he said.
His opposite number Taku Shariwa was not happy with the manner his charges conceded the goals, particularly the third one by Ngodzo.
“That was a silly goal for an experienced keeper, but unfortunately it happens in football. That’s why it is called the beautiful game and its part and parcel of life. We have to try again next week,” he said.
CAPS United: E Sibanda, H Zvirekwi, D Dauda, S Makatuka, R Pfumbidzai, A Amidu (S Nhivi, 20), D Chafa, J Ngodzo, P Bamusi (A Kambanje, 80), T Rusike (M Muchenje, 28), L Tsipa
Mutare City Rovers: V Twaliki, M Sako, W Mapfumo, W Sithole, S Muchabaya, B Majambanda (c Masocha, 46), V Madamombe, A Murimba, S Hadebe (D Duri, 54), K Gurure, M Tapatapa
Results at a glance:
Friday: Harare City 2-1 Bulawayo City
Yesterday’s Results: CAPS United 4-1 Mutare City Rovers, FC Platinum 1-1 Chicken Inn, Tsholotsho 1-2 ZPC Kariba, Chapungu 3-0 Border Strikers
Today’s Fixtures: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Dynamos, Highlanders v How Mine, Hwange v Triangle United (Colliery)