By Denis Kagonye
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe says his charges are struggling to focus on both fronts – the domestic and continental battles – and feels a number of his men had their sights on the Champions League match against USM Alger of Algeria next week.
The champions conceded a last-gasp goal to fall to their first defeat in the Castle Lager Premiership this year at the hands of a ZPC Kariba side that powered to the top of the table again.
This was always going to be a difficult match for Makepekepe, who lost their last match in the Champions League 0-2 to Zamalek in Egypt last Friday, against a ZPC Kariba side who have been flying this season.
But the champions appeared to have stolen a point at Nyamhunga as the match staggered towards the closing stages after in-form forward Abbas Amidu, who is thriving in his new role as a centre forward, smashed home a beautiful equaliser.
A 17th minute strike from Francesco Zikumbawire had thrust the hosts into the lead. But, when it seemed this match would end in a draw, Never Tigere fired home from a free-kick in the 90th minute to settle this contest and break the Green Machine hearts.
The hosts had even missed a penalty when big goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda saved Raphael Manuvire’s effort from the spot early in the match.
ZPC surged ahead after Zikumbawire beat Sibanda after fine work by former Caps United winger Blessing Nyamuzihwa whose good performance yesterday left many questioning why the Green Machine let him go.
Amidu could have equalised in the 28th minute when he was sent through by Phineas Bhamusi but his shot was parried for a corner by goalkeeper Tendai Hove.
Justice Jangano had a torrid time trying to contain the slippery Nyamuzihwa and, after conceding four goals in their last two matches, Chitembwe must be a worried man about how his defence is again cracking.
“Every player wants to play in the Champions’ League match on Wednesday and I felt they did not apply themselves as they feared sustaining injuries,”said Chitembwe.
“I am happy that besides not applying themselves well they, however, tried but it was not our day in the office.”
ZPC Kariba coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, was a happy man.
“It was a tricky match and I am happy that we got maximum points from the defending champions. We hope that we are going to continue with our winning streak,” said Chidzambwa
ZPC Kariba:T Hove,M Kunyarimwe,T Munyanduri, A Chivheya, T Nyamandwe, C Rukwanhi, N Tigere, R Manuvire(P Wadyajena 80th min),T Chamboko, B Nyamuzihwa (D Chakupe 55th min), F Zikumbawire (L Fiyado 68th min)
Caps United: E Sibanda, V Musarurwa (Z Bizeki 48th min), R. Pfumbidzai, J Jangano, D Dauda, D Chafa, M Muchenje, J Ngodzo (D Chungwa 70th min), P Bamusi, J Ngulube, A Amidu The Chronicle