Harare City . . . . . . . . . . (1)1
Caps United . . . . . . . . . (1)2
Caps United registered their first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win of the season with a deserved triumph over Harare City after a convincing display at Rufaro yesterday. The victory surely ignited belief in their fans in the early stages of the season. Impressive midfielder Moses Muchenje and striker Dominic Chungwa scored in either half of the match sandwiched by a controversial William Manondo strike at the stroke of half time.
United soaked in early pressure from the speedy City attackers led by Phineas Bhamusi and Martin Vengesayi, who themselves should have left Rufaro with a bitter taste having failed to get a goal from their dominance in early exchanges.
It was not long before the Taurai Mangwiro-coached side settled down with Muchenje pulling the strings in the middle of the park while Ronald Pfumbidzayi was always a threat from the left flank.
The Young Warriors’ leftback was at his best in the 18th minute, beating two City defenders in the middle of the park before inviting his captain Tapiwa Khumbuyani, whose well-taken cross flashed across the face of goal with no green shirt at hand to direct it into Maxwell Nyamupangedengu’s goal.
Pfumbidzayi tasted Nyamupangedengu with a low shot from an acute angle with the latter responding by pushing it out for a corner at the half-hour mark.
United were duly rewarded with the lead just after the half-hour mark when Muchenje capitalised on a goalmouth melee after a corner kick to scramble home the opener, sending the predominantly Caps United crowd into ecstasy.
Ten minutes from the breather Pfumbidzayi and Takudzwa Mahori were outsprinted wide on the left by Vengesayi, but the former Dynamos striker watched in agony as Stephen Makatuka emerged from the blind side to avert danger.
But just as Caps appeared ready to go for the half-time break with the lead, Manondo headed home the equaliser from what appeared to be an offside position which, however, nearside assistant referee Bongani Gahadzikwa did not flag. With 20 minutes on the clock, Khumbuyani combined well on the right with second-half substitute Pevington Zimunya, and the substitute opened the City defence with a low cross for Chungwa to wrap up the points with a simple tap-in.
Mangwiro was naturally pleased and reckoned his tactical changes in the middle of the park, after struggling earlier on, had carried the day for the Green Machine.
“It was a much-needed victory for us. I am happy we have managed to collect the three points having allowed them too much space at the start. Our switch to double anchor worked wonders for us,” Mangwiro said.
Bigboy Mawiwi blamed “silly mistakes” by his players for the loss.
“We were making silly mistakes, there were times when I felt we were in control, but we failed to punish the opponent,” he said.
Harare City: M Nyamupangedengu, M Nyenye, M Kunyarimwe, A Chivheya, C Dickson, R Uchena, P Bhamusi, N Ziwini (J Jam, 80th), W Manondo (M Mburayi, 75th), M Vengesayi, T Chawapiwa (T Kadewere, 87th)
Caps United: T Dube, T Khumbuyani, D Chipula, S Makatuka, R Pfumbidzayi, T Samanja, T Mukanairi (D Mukandi, 65th), G Phiri, M Muchenje, T Mahori (P Zimunya, 55th), D Chungwa
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