From Lovemore Zigara in Gweru
CAPS United…… (0) 1
CAPS United’s fine run continued after posting their fourth consecutive win when they edged a spirited Hardbody in a Castle Lager Premiership soccer match at Ascot yesterday.
A 67th minute strike by goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda ensured that Makepekepe collect maximum points in a game they played second fiddle to their Gweru-based opponents for the better part of the match.
Hardbody will feel hard done by referee Mlindele Ndebele who hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons after denying the Gweru side what looked liked three clear penalties during the match.
It was, however, the Harare giants who controlled the proceedings in the first 10 minutes and could have surged ahead in the 7th minute when Rahman Kutsanzira set up Clive Kawinga inside the box but the latter hit the side netting with goalkeeper Alexander Useni a well beaten man.
Hardbody then took the game to their opponents with an exciting passing game and captain Callisto Maheya thought he had given his side the lead in the 17th minute when he tapped in a Michael Mageja cross but his effort was ruled out for off-side.
From then on the home-side piled on the pressure for the entire half but could not find the elusive goal as their strikers wasted numerous scoring chances which came their way.
Hardbody maintained the pressure in the first 10 minutes after the breather but could not find the breakthrough before the “Green Machine” clawed back into the game as they started to dictate the pace in midfield.
CAPS United finally found the target in the 67th minute when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box after Brian Juru fouled Charles Chiutsa.
Tapiwa Khumbuyani then set up Sibanda from the resultant free-kick and the big goalkeeper unleashed a scorcher which Useni could only help into the nets to send the CAPS United faithful into a frenzy.
The goal seemed to spur on CAPS United as they controlled the proceedings in a five-minute spell but Hardbody regained control of the proceedings when they virtually camped inside the visitors’ half in search of an equaliser.
In the 84th minute, Ndebele turned down a third Hardbody penalty appeal when David Sengu handled in the box which infuriated the home fans as they threw missiles at the assistant referee, forcing a two-minute stoppage.
Tavaka Gumbo, the Hardbody gaffer blamed the loss on bad officiating by the referee. “It was a good game which we dominated but as you can see the referee denied us three clear penalties,” Gumbo said.
His counterpart Sean Connor described the win as a “pleasing result” and said he hoped the team would maintain their good form in the next game.
Hardbody: A. Useni, J. Mangiza, C. Simango, B. Juru, A. Chuma, C. Maheya, A. Marime, M. Mageja, N. Ncube (C. Nyoni 84th minute), H. Gravel, R. Jongwe (I. Mugwamba 76th minute).
CAPS United: E. Sibanda, C. Chiutsa, C. Kawinga (E. Chafungamoyo 84th minute), R. Kutsanzira, D. Sengu, N. Mukumbi (C. Kaisa 46th minute), T. Munyanduri, W. Pakamisa, T. Samanja, D. Walaza.