By Eddie Chikamhi
Caps United 3-1 Highlanders
Dominic Chungwa put his nose ahead in the race for the Golden Boot when he struck a brace in Caps United’s thumping win over Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium last night.
As if they had wanted to remind Bosso coach Erol Akbay who had taunted them this week by calling them spent forces, Makepekepe were in such a form they could have won by a bigger margin.
But then the night belonged to Chungwa who took his tally to 14 with a goal either side of the break as he climbed two goals clear at the top of the scoring charts.
The burly forward needed just nine minutes to find the target when he buried the rebound from close range after the goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya had punched his initial shot back in play.
Chungwa completed his brace in the 59th minute with an easy header from Hardlife Zvirekwi’s pinpoint cross. But then it was difficult to ignore a beautiful strike by midfielder Devon Chafa whose volley gave young goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya no chance soon after the interval.
Veteran Ralph Matema found the consolation for Bosso in the 69th minute.
Caps United assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi was delighted by the win which took their points tally to 49 as Makepekepe continued with their late charge which has now seen them going nine matches unbeaten.
“Brilliant. It was a great result. It was all about unity and team work. You could see from the first two minutes we could have gotten a goal from Hardlife Zvirekwi and another goal from Chungwa.
“The way we started the game set the tone for the evening and this should continue. But like I said the most important thing is the team. We thank God for the victory and all the people who came to support us.
“It’s not easy to come and support a football team on a Thursday night, paying hard earned money. Remember it’s tough in the economy. We are grateful for the win and we will keep grounded and stay grounded and look forward to the next encounter.
“Like I said before, we are running our own race. We are chasing ourselves, we are chasing the standards we set before. We want to do better and better, we keep learning,” said Kwashi.
Makepekepe responded in a big way from the disappointment they encountered last week when they fired blanks against Black Rhinos in a goalless draw.
But then, with the league title out of reach, their chief forward Chungwa positioned himself well for the Golden Boot with the two goals yesterday.
Chungwa opened a two-goal cushion ahead of Black Rhinos’ Lot Chiwunga who has 12 goals while Christian Joel Epoupa of Dynamos is now a distant third on 11.
Chungwa, who has been displaying some excellent predatory instincts of late, was at the right position at the right time when he controlled the ball inside the box and went for the near post. However goalkeeper Madeya had it covered but there was nothing the young goalkeeper could do to stop the marauding forward when he pounced on the rebound from close range.
Bosso however could have levelled terms midway through the first half when Munawa got to the end of a cross from Bukhosi Ncube but could not keep his shot down.
The midfielder had another glorious opportunity to redeem himself soon afterward but after doing everything correctly his shot was denied by the foot of the upright with the keeper Edmore Sibanda beaten.
Makepekepe could have punished Bosso in the 34th minute after Peter Muduhwa’s intended backpass could not go the whole length to the keeper who had to leave his line to make a desperate clearance as Chungwa closed in.
Chungwa had a hand in Makepekepe’s second goal when he burst into the box from the right and forced a desperate save from the keeper. But the danger was not cleared as Chafa quickly snapped on a loose ball and volleyed home from a distance.
Bosso still tried to fight back with the introduction of King Nadolo and Ncube had his shot parried over by the big goalkeeper on 55 minutes.
But then Madeya, who was jittery at times, was forced to make a brilliant save from opposite number Edmore Sibanda’s ferocious freekick on the 59th minute. And as Highlanders defenders battled to clear their lines, Zvirekwi sent in a good cross from the right and found Chungwa unmarked in the box for Makepekepe’s third goal of the night.
“Fourteen goals for Chungwa. Great for the team but the most important thing is not about Chungwa. We are happy for the team but we also thank the lads that were behind him. Teams win championships, teams win games. It’s not about individuals.
“We thank Chungwa, we keep pushing him, he should not relax, he should keep eyes on the ball. He should not be swayed by the goal scoring race but by working hard for the team,” said Kwashi.
But Highlanders despite a glaring miss by Godfrey Makaruse soon after Chungwa had completed his brace, still found consolation when veteran Matema headed in a cross from the substitute Ray Lunga with the ball coming off the underside of the crossbar and bouncing just over the line. Their coach Akbay was disappointed by the defeat, which could mean more misery for the Dutch coach following a disappointing season with the giants.
“It was actually two phases. First we defended very badly and we gave Caps United too much space to play football. But we also had our chances.
“First half I think three or four goals and second half we had two or three chances but we only scored one goal. In such situations you cannot win a match.
“But I am surprised every time that a big club like Caps United need the assistance of the ball boys to win a match. I am sorry for them, really,” said Akbay. The Herald
Caps Utd: E. Sibanda, K. Nyamupfukudza (M. Muchenje, 70th minute), V. Musarurwa, G. Goriyati, S. Makatuka, D. Chafa, J. Ngodzo (A. Fugo, 81st minute), P. Bamusi, H. Zvirekwi, D. Chungwa, J. Zhuwawu (A. Kambanje, 84th minute)
Highlanders: N. Madeya, B. Ncube (R. Lunga, 65th minute), H. Moyo, P. Mudhuwa, B. Phiri, T. Ngulube, S. Munawa, G. Makaruse, R. Kutsanzira (K. Nadolo, 49th minute), G. Nyoni, R. Matema (A. Gahadzikwa, 81st minute)
Match day 30 fixtures
Friday: Harare City v FC Platinum (Rufaro)
Saturday: Bulawayo City v Chapungu (Barbourfields), Yadah v How Mine (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum v Dynamos (Baobab, 2pm), ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Tsholotsho v Bantu Rovers (Dulivhadzimo), Shabanie Mine v Triangle United (Maglas), Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields), Caps United v Hwange (National Sports Stadium)