By Grace Chingoma
CAPS United………(2) 3
Now you can call them the Green Machine and no one will say you are mocking them — four months without a loss in the Castle Lager Premiership, 10 matches unbeaten in the marathon and just three points off the pace set by champions Dynamos.
The last time CAPS United lost a match in the domestic Premiership was against bitter rivals Dynamos in May when Devon Chafa converted a penalty at the National Sports Stadium in the defining moment of a close contest.
Four months later, the Green Machine are yet to lose and, guess what, their next assignment is against the Glamour Boys next Sunday in a Harare Derby that is likely to be as explosive as any that we have seen in recent years.
Taurai Mangwiro and his men roared within shouting distance of Dynamos after a deserved victory over lowly Tripple B at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, matching the number of goals that their fierce rivals had scored the previous day at Rufaro in their match against Harare City.
Makepekepe stretched their unbeaten run with goals from Zimbabwe international Hardlife Zvirekwi (32nd and 45th minute) and Dominic Chungwa in the 52nd minute. Since losing to DeMbare, CAPS United have managed five draws and as many wins.
Yesterday, CAPS United marched on and their victory was even made more special by the fact that Mangwiro unleashed some youthful players such as Zinovamba Muskwe, later in the game, who went on to show that the future could be rosy at the club.
Mangwiro said his team was not affected much by the break.
“I had anticipated that we would struggle. When we got to the break we were on a high. And, obviously, it was evident in the opening minutes that we were struggling,” said Mangwiro.
“Once we got our act together, it was better and we were asking questions. We didn’t allow them to play unlike in the first leg.”
The two teams drew 2-2 in Zvishavane in the reverse fixture. The gaffer said going into the match, after other top teams had posted good results the day before, was always going to put them under immense pressure.
“It was important to get points today. It was always tricky after other top teams had got maximum points,” said Mangwiro.
“We badly needed to get the points. From here let’s look at the next five matches, it will shape the rest of the season for us.”
The former Masvingo United and Monomotapa coach said even though derby matches do not depend on the form book, they were happy to be going into the Harare Derby against a background of a good run of results.
“We wouldn’t want to go at the back of a defeat. You are spurred to do well when playing Dynamos. Dynamos won the first leg when they were not playing well and it is not really about the performance.
“But we are also happy and will go into the match with our tails up,” said Mangwiro.
Tripple B coach Peter Manoti watched his team being outplayed by a sleek Green Machine and they left Harare having done little to help their cause to battle against relegation. However, he remains optimistic that the newboys will survive relegation.
“Credit should be given to CAPS United. I think they really played well and deserved this win. They pressed hard and did not give my players room to play,” said Manoti.
“But my players played really well considering we are coming from a very long break. They gave it all but sometimes it’s very difficult to play away because there are many factors that will be against you. With this performance I don’t think the team will be relegated.”
The match, which began as a big yawn, slowly cranked into life. And after half an hour, Warriors defender Zvirekwi found the target when he scored a beauty, smashing the ball home after receiving a pass from the right. The ball gave former Monomotapa goalie Tapuwa Mafunga no chance.
In the fifth minute of the first half time added on, the former Gunners man completed his brace when he converted a free kick, beating the wall erected by the opposition to find the target. There was no going back for his team.
Three minutes after the break, Chungwa’s header missed the target before defender Ronald Pfumbidzayi tried his luck. But in the end, all that did not matter as Chungwa sealed the scoring and the Harare giants powered to another victory.
The visitors had a few attempts at goal and former Monoz striker Makai “Jecha” Kawashu, who joined the team during the transfer window, could have been rewarded with a goal. Zvirekwi was feted like a king by the fans and had a Thursday collection from the supporters.
Surely, the good times are back at the club.
CAPS United: T. Dube, T. Kumbuyani, T. Samanja, A. Chivheya, S. Makatuka, R. Pfumbidzai, R. Kutsanzira, H. Zvirekwi (B. Zabula 85 th minute), B. Maglasi (Z. Muskwe 76th minute), D. Chungwa, T. Nyamandwe (L. Fiyado 65 th minute).
Tripple B: T. Mafunga, F. Makambanga, T. Mkondwa, O. Chove, E. Mwinga, T. Mamvura, M. Mavhuto (P. Makarise 81st minute) W. Chingodza, J. Dandi, A. Marime, M. Kawashu (J. Daudi 90th minute). The Herald