LAST week CAPS United players staged a sit-in ahead of a crucial home Chibuku Super Cup first round encounter against Tsholotsho and eventually lost the match on a penalty shoot-out.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
But it is in the league that the Green Machine has managed to dig deep and eke out positive results in the face of adversity.
Placed second with six matches to go, Lloyd Chitembwe’s men host How Mine at the National Sports Stadium today as they look to soldier on in a quest to win their first league title since 2005.
Assistant coach Fungai Kwashi declared the sit-in chapter was now in the past and the team was now focused on winning games for the board and fans.
“We have gone past that phase [of strikes] and we are beginning a new chapter. We definitely want to win for our president Farai Jere and the board for all the hard work they put in to make sure the club survives,” he told Standardsport.
The CAPS United board seems to have done enough to ensure that the players commit to the club’s cause as the season enters the home stretch.
An incident-free mid-week trip to ZPC Kariba which culminated in a goalless draw strengthens the case that all is now well in camp.
“We have faced a lot of trials and challenges as a team in the past, but we continue to challenge ourselves to keep on doing well as a united team. But also, we have the best coach in the world in Lloyd Chitembwe, who has done wonders with the team in a short space of time, so it’s no surprise that we have managed to keep up with the top teams,” Kwashi said.
CAPS United appeared to be one of the most economically stable and professionally run football clubs at the beginning of the season, but financial challenges surfaced along the way.
The Harare giants face Kelvin Kaindu’s How Mine, high in confidence having dumped Dynamos out of Chibuku Cup last weekend, before brushing aside Hwange in a mid-week fixture.
How Mine have always been a difficult proposition for CAPS United, having met them seven times, winning three times, drawing once and losing three times.
The miners were the first team to beat CAPS United this season after winning 2-1 in Bulawayo back in May.
However, CAPS United will this afternoon have to make do without a number of senior players who are still nursing injuries.
Among them is captain Moses Muchenje, goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, Archford Gutu, Kudzai Nyamupfukudza and Tafadzwa Rusike.
Top marksman Leonard Tsipa could make a comeback after missing out on the mid-week goalless trip away to ZPC Kariba.