WHEN Hardlife Zvirekwi warmed up, ahead of being an 87th minute substitute, the Caps United supporters went wild.
The cheers from Rufaro’s City End grew even louder as Zvirekwi replaced Simba Nhivi and Carlton Mudzambwa took off the armband and handed it over to its rightful owner.
The Makepekepe faithful rose to salute a moment they thought they would never witness since the day they knew that part of Zvirekwi’s left hand had been amputated following a nasty car accident in March.
The Caps United’s skipper entry into the fray was the highlight of this goalless and less glamorus version of the Harare derby.
Zvirekwi’s first task was to flight in a free kick which Dennis Dauda headed straight at Ryan Harrison in goals for Harare City.
City coach Mark Harrison, who thought his team played well in the first half before losing their way, was also delighted by Zvirekwi’s return.
“He has gone through trauma so it’s great news to see him back in the game. I am really pleased for him, I guess everybody in Zimbabwe is pleased for the boy,” said Harrison.
“Coming to the game it was quite a tough encounter, it was physical and I thought in the first half we were the better team by far. I thought we played some good football.
“Second half Caps were just pumping the ball long, which is disappointing, but they made the best of it… they pinned us and we have got to learn to deal with that. We got to learn to get hold of the ball and keep it than giving it away.”
No one from Caps United attended the mandatory post-match interview.
Apart from Zvirekwi’s return the handful of fans who braved the chilly weather must have gone home wondering what was going on inside referee Brighton Chimene’s head.
Chimene made some questionable decisions and in the 62nd minute Harare City had a penalty shout waved away when Protasho Kabwe was felled by Dauda inside the box.
Makepekepe’s best chance came 10 minutes into the second half when Ryan Harriso parried away a John Zhuwawo’s flick into the path of Brian Muzondiwa who somehow fluffed his lines.
Caps United: P Chigumba, D Dauda, V Musarurwa, C Munzabwa, S Makatuka, D Mukandi, K Nyamupfukudza, J Ngodzo (P Moyo 67th), B Muzondiwa, J Zhuwawu, S Nhivi(H.Zvirekwi 87th)
Harare City: R Harrison, T Samanja, T Chimwemwe, B Chayambuka, M Diro-Nyenye, R Uchena, Moses Muchenje, M Gaki (D Chimwemwe 70th), P Kabwe, T Tumba, W Muvirimi (J Chipangura 80th)
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