By Bernard Chiketo at MAGLAS STADIUM
ZVISHAVANE – CAPS United could face the wrath of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after their supporters caused the abandonment of their Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final tie against Shabanie Mine here yesterday.
By the time the game was stopped in the 67th minute the home side were leading 1-0 after defender William Mapfumo had put his side in the lead just before the break.
Far side assistant referee Thomas Kusosa had flagged Kudzai Nyamupfukudza offside before he flighted a cross that was scored by John Zhuwawu in the 65th minute.
Irate CAPS United fans began throwing missiles onto the pitch with one hitting Kusosa, injuring him in the process, forcing centre referee Philani Ncube to lead his assistants to the safety of the changing rooms.
Match commissioner Gladmore Mudzambi later announced that the game had been abandoned.
Shabanie gaffer Takesure Chiragwi absolved his side of the ugly scenes saying they were relevant officials to handle the situation while theirs was to play football.
“There are relevant people to control such situations and as a club that’s not our job, we have done our job — we were playing good football and we were leading 1-0. We don’t have control over what happened we are just waiting for the hearing and we will respect whatever decision that is going to be taken.
“I don’t want to talk about what happened because I didn’t see anything. I just saw the referee running.”
Chiragwi, however, said he hopes that the decision favours them. “I hope the decision will be in our favour.”
He also said they were confident of winning the game if it had lasted the distance: “In football anything can happen but with the way we were playing I thought we were going to wrap up the match.”
The game is going to be the second in the tournament to be decided in the boardroom after the game between Chicken Inn and Yadah in the first round was abandoned after Rahman Gumbo and his charges walked off the pitch in protest of a late penalty.
Chicken Inn were subsequently disqualified and barred from participating in next year’s edition of the tournament and were fined $2 000.
Shabanie were fancying their chances of progressing in the tournament after holding the defending Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions in their two league encounters and coming into the quarter-finals at the back of knocking out ZPC Kariba 2-0 in their own backyard.
CAPS United, who had been the only giants remaining in the tournament had, however, made a huge statement of intent after eliminating last year’s Chibuku Super Cup champions Ngezi Platinum Stars.
History was weighing against CAPS United coming into this match though as they had last won at Maglas Stadium in 2006.
The match started off as a gritty tussle in midfield with CAPS United having an edge over their more cautious hosts.
Zhuwawu came close to put Makepekepe ahead when he connected a Phenias Bhamusi cross only to be denied by an alert Shabanie Mine shot stopper Petros Moyo on 17 minutes.
The Green Machine continued to pile the pressure with Dominic Chungwa and Moses Muchenje all coming close only to be denied by the impressive Shabanie goalkeeper.
Shabanie Mine’s first real opportunity came in the 40th minute when striker Farai Mupasiri fluffed a Wellington Taderera cross inside the box.
Four minutes later, Mapfumo, however, was to break the deadlock when he powered home a Trevor Ajana corner kick.
Tinashe Mupumha could have doubled the lead in the 57th minute but his effort only managed to hit the side netting.
There was crowd trouble as CAPS United fans started raining missiles onto the pitch to protest a 67th minute disallowed goal forcing the referees to flee the pitch.
Shabanie Mine: Petros Moyo, Joe Nyabinde, Benjamin Mukundu, Admire Dzumbunu, Nyasha Mpofu, Tinashe Mupumha, Farai Mupasiri, William Mapfumo, Trevor Ajana, Tafadzwa Chimoyo, Wellington Taderera
Caps United: Edmore Sibanda, Valentine Musarurwa, Kudzai Nyamupfukudza, Goodwin Goriyati, Stephen Mukaruka, Devon Chafa, Moses Muchenje, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Phenias Bhamusi, John Zhuwawu, Dominic Chungwa. Daily News