The Sunday Mail
Caps United……………………… 0
To call Caps United’s return to Ascot Stadium forgettable would be the understatement of the year.
The last time the reigning Castle Lager Premier League soccer champions travelled to the Midlands capital last year, a solitary goal from striker Simba Nhivi saw the Harare giants collect all three points and take the championship just out of FC Platinum’s grasp.
However, their return to the stadium yesterday saw the Green Machine put in a drab show and share the spoils with Chapungu.
The match finished goalless. The only positive both teams can take out of the encounter is that they climbed one rung up the log table. After yesterday’s match, Caps leapfrogged Triangle into ninth place with 28 points from their 19 games. Triangle also have 28 points, but have an inferior goal difference.
Chapungu, who should have won the match, rose to 12th. There was virtually nothing to write home about the encounter, except for fact that it took Caps United almost 80 minutes before they had a shot on target.
That shot came courtesy of Moses Muchenje in th 78th minute, who – with only the goalkeeper to beat – skied his effort after being fed by Devon Chafa.
Before that Chapungu were running the show and made their presence felt as early as the second minute when ageless striker Philip Marufu weaved past the Caps United defence before supplying an unmarked Allen Tavarwisa in the box.
But his effort was tipped over the bar by an alert Edmore Sibanda. A minute later Maxwell Mavuto headed against the woodwork after getting on the end of Raymond Sibanda’s corner kick.
Caps assistant Coach Tostao Kwashi attributed his charges’ lethargic show to the absence of key players like Ronald Pfumbidzai, who joined South African side Bloomfontein Celtic; Stephen Makatuka, who is not feeling well; and Hardlife Zvirekwi and Justice Jangano, who are on suspension.
“We shared the spoils with Chapungu. We are happy to have managed to collect a point from this game although we could have snatched a last-minute win when Muchenje missed from inside the box.
“We played well considering the situation of our team today. We were missing Hardlife Zvirekwi and Justice Jangano who are on suspension, Ronald Pfumbidzai, who joined Celtic.
“We are now looking forward and we are going to rectify the mistakes we made today. We can’t win them all. We want to urge all the Caps United faithful to continue rallying behind the team,” he said.
Chapungu gaffer Tendai Chikuni was impressed with the result and attributed it to the resilience of the Airmen’s defence.
“We dominated the match and we managed to contain them. Our defence was really solid and they failed to penetrate. Caps United are champions and we are impressed with the result,” said Chikuni.
Chapungu: R. Mazingi, C. Mativenga, R. Sibanda, B. Mbavarira, C. Kwaramba, M. Muchangami, I. Nyoni, M. Mavuto (M. Mugadzaweta, 47mins), A. Tavarwisa, T. Chitora, P. Marufu (L. Gwerima, 60mins)
Caps United: E. Sibanda, V. Musarurwa, G. Goriyati, C. Munzabwa, C. Kamhapa, D. Chafa, M. Muchenje, J. Ngodzo (P. Bamusi, 62mins), T. Rusike, A. Chidiebere, D. Chungwa.