Mukudzei Chingwere, Harare Bureau
Chapungu 0 – 2 Caps United
TEN MEN Caps United beat Airforce side Chapungu in a drama filled Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Ascot yesterday to cap the first half of the season on a high.
Chapungu and Warriors goalkeeper Talbert Shumba stormed out of the pitch just before halftime in protest of a referee’s decision to allow a second goal by the visitors when he felt he was fouled in the build up to the goal.
Veteran forward Philip Marufu tried in vain to bring back his teammate in the field of play only for coach Rodwell Dhlakama who intervened and pushed his keeper back into play for the match to continue.
Simba Nhivi had opened the scoreboard before Brian Muzondiwa sealed maximum points on the stroke of half time whose goal provoked drama from the Warriors’ keeper.
Five minutes after the breather it was Justice Jangano’s dramatic turn when he used his hand to thwart an Allen Tavarwisa effort on the line, which had beaten the Green Machine shot stopper, Chris Mverechena.
Referee Arnold Ncube did not hesitate to show the defender a straight red card before awarding the host a penalty, Brighton Mugoni stepped up but was denied from 12 yards by a brilliant Mverechena.
Lloyd Chitembwe’s men came into the duel yesterday determined for all set of points to trim the gap between themselves and log leaders FC Platinum.
The result means Makepekepe are now on 29 points, 15 behind early pacesetters FC Platinum who have taken the campaign by storm as they chase a second league title on the bounce, while Chapungu remain on a meagre 13 point tally.
Before the start of the campaign many tipped Caps United for the big one after their title defence last year was disrupted by their commendable run in the Caf Champions league where they reached the mini league phase.
However, trailing the leaders by a massive 15 points after the opening stanza of the season it will be fair for some to say their quest of winning the tile is far from being a reality.
Despite the massive gap, Chitembwe feels his side deserves many plaudits given a number of key players that have left the club.
“We are talking of a team that has lost entirely 11 players on the pitch and this season alone we lost six players, Hardlife (Zvirekwi), (Phineas) Bamusi and others all those players.
“For us to be still competitive and grinding results, that is very important and for these guys we need to applaud them for that,” he said.
“But I feel we still have a long way to go before we attain perfection, today we were not clinical as we should be and I thought we were no way near the way we normally play but we got the result we wanted.
“Today what was more important was the result not flair, what impressed me most is the character of the team playing with ten men, in modern game it is not easy to play with ten but I think our game management was very good.
“My overall summation of the game is that it was a difficult game, the two goals gave us belief and confidence, the game plan was clear to capitalise on our wide areas and we were very effective today,” said Chitembwe.
Losing coach, Dhlakama, talked about the behaviour of his goalkeeper saying he needs to correct the wayward actions of his player.
“Those are some of the things we need to work on as coaches, the mental aspect of our players we just need to go and talk to him, it sends a bad message but anyway we have to correct that as coaches.
“We did not utilise the chances that came our way and it is unfortunate we come out with nothing when we could have converted one or two chances that came our way.
“But that is our homework going into the break and we have to manage that going into the second half of the season.
Before kickoff a moment of silence was observed for the late Zimpapers Correspondent Lovemore Zigara who died in a car crash after the car he was driving was involved in a head on collision on Saturday along Gweru – Kwekwe road.
He was 36.
Zigara survived with his wife (Michelle) and two sons, burial arrangements are yet to be advised by his family.
Chapungu; T Shumba, T Kumbuyani, E Chitauro,
B Mbavarira, M Moenda, C Kwaramba, I Nyoni,
M Mavuto, A Tavarwisa, B Mtigo (B Mugoni 46th min), P Marufu
Caps United; C Mverechena, J Jangano, D Dauda, C Munzambwa, G Goriyati, C Kamhapa (D Mukandi 46th min), B Muzondiwa (P Moyo 57th min), V Musarurwa, J Zhuwawu, S Nhivi,