Of all the wonderful things that table-topping Ngezi Platinum Stars have achieved in their short life in top-flight football, beating CAPS United is not one of them.
Ngezi have played Makepekepe four times and the best they have done is a draw on two occasions while they have lost the two other games.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
As the Mhondoro-based outfit heads into the potentially explosive tie against CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon, coach Tonderai Ndiraya has boldly declared that what has happened in the past was now history.
“Ngezi have not beaten CAPS United since promotion, but that is history and we are not reading much into history,” he said yesterday.
“We are playing a game tomorrow; a new game altogether. It is our hope as a team that we get points. We are hoping to get maximum points and this is CAPS United, mind you. We should expect a very tough match.”
Ndiraya’s charges have had a brilliant start to the season, winning eight of their first 10 matches and drawing two.
“It’s something you always wish to achieve as a coach, but it hasn’t been an easy ride to achieve this. We played difficult matches against very good teams, but we have since put that behind us and we are focusing on the future,” he said.
Ngezi are playing the Lloyd Chitembwe-coached 2016 champions on the back of an emphatic 5-0 drubbing of Yadah Stars last week.
“It’s been difficult to motivate the team after such a big win, but the team is fully aware of the threat posed by the opponent [CAPS United]. We had to quickly forget the Yadah victory and get back to serious preparations,” Ndiraya said.
Ahead of the epic tie, Ndiraya is facing what he calls a “good” headache with all the players available for selection.
Exciting winger Donald Teguru is back to top form, while James Ngulube and Malon Mushonga sparkled last week after getting rare starts.
By their standard, CAPS United have had a rather slow start to the season and occupy seventh place ahead of this weekend’s round of matches, but Chitembwe is unfazed.
“We have done a decent job ourselves, but I think we just have to start winning games because we know what we want. We know how to achieve what we want,” he said.
“I certainly believe that, and have this funny feeling that our finish to the season will be as sensational as how Ngezi have started the season.”