By Tadious Manyepo
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe hopes his blunt strike-force will finally get it right against defending champions Harare City when the two teams clash in the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final at Rufaro this afternoon.
The Green Machine haven’t scored a single goal in regulation time in the tournament this year, only advancing both from the first round and the quarter-final via penalties.
Makepekepe’s shortcomings are not confined to the Chibuku Super Cup tournament, their conversion rate in the Premiership of late has also been worrisome, especially to their coach and fans.
They have scored just two goals in their last four league matches where the team picked a mere point out of a possible 12.
Amid the crisis which has since forced Chitembwe to pronounce he will be overhauling the team for them to be competitive next season, the championship-winning gaffer remains positive his charges will find a way past the Sunshine City Boys.
With the team failing to make an impact in the league where they occupy sixth-place with three games remaining, Makepekepe will be hoping to deliver the Chibuku Super Cup home and afford themselves a chance to represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Interestingly, CAPS United have failed to win any cup tournament in the last decade.
And after a run of three consecutive defeats in the league, Chitembwe believes his charges have been reserving their energy for today’s match.
“It’s very important and I certainly believe the guys were reserving their energies for this game and I would like to see the energy, I want to see the guys buzzing on Saturday (today).
“I think there is everything to play for. I’m certainly looking forward to the game and hope the guys will apply themselves in the way that we expect them to,” said Chitembwe.
“It has been a hectic season in which we have blown hot and cold, but I think we have done really well in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament. We need to keep the momentum and beat Harare City to afford ourselves a chance of progressing to the final.
“We can’t talk of winning the trophy before clearing the semi-final hurdle. Harare City are the defending champions and they have always performed well in the tournament so the match will be tough, but I am very positive my team will do well.”
While Chitembwe is confident his team will prevail, Harare City coach Mark Harrison, will be hoping his own charges find the winning formula which will set them on course for a third straight Chibuku Super Cup triumph.
Harare City overcame Bulawayo City 1-0 in the first round before dumping Highlanders in the quarter-final with a 2-0 score line.
“Look, CAPS United is not a small team and I am sure they want the match as much as we want it. So it will obviously be a difficult encounter, but we are ready for them,” said Harrison.
“Right from the first round, we have been under pressure since we are the defending champions, but we have done really well to progress through the stages up to where we are at the moment. We have to play according to how we would like the match to go.
We have to play our normal passing game, unsettle the opponents and see what happens at the end of the match.”
“We are coming from a disappointing league match in which we drew against Ngezi Platinum Stars during the week. In that game we lost concentration in crucial positions and we cannot afford to commit the same mistakes on Saturday (today),” Harrison said. The Herald.