CAPS taught HOW to MINE diamonds
By Augustine Hwata
CAPS United . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
How Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 (2)
(How Mine won 4-2 on penalties)
PREMIERSHIP debutantes How Mine continued writing their fairytale in the Mbada Diamonds Cup competition when they trapped CAPS United into their shaft in a rain-soaked semi-final tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
How Mine will now meet city rivals Highlanders in the first ever Bulawayo derby for this premier knock-out football competition after Bosso beat Harare City 5-3 in another penalty shoot-out at Mandava on Saturday.
For Highlanders, they could still wrap their season in style as they are also in the strong running for the league championship, but it’s How Mine who should be bragging before the final, likely to be at Barbourfields.
Already How Mine have thumped Bosso twice this season in the league and have also claimed the scalp of defending Mbada Diamonds Cup champions Dynamos at the quarter-final stage.
Yesterday it was CAPS United who were shown the exit as Chikurupati rallied from behind to earn a draw and then forced the match to a penalty shoot-out where they converted four of their efforts, while CAPS United slotted twice.
Pre-match favourites CAPS United had appeared on course for their third win over How Mine when Rahman Kutsanzira gave them the lead in the 42nd minute as he finished off a free-kick delivered from the left.
After taking the slender lead, CAPS United fans started singing songs derogatory to their city rivals Dynamos, whose fans were backing How Mine. A mini war zone was created between Bays 1 and 2 as Dynamos fans pelted their CAPS United counterparts with missiles.
In the second half, How Mine evened the scores when Warren Dube’s effort inside the box beat Tafadzwa Dube, in goal for the Green Machine, in the 54th minute.
How Mine then appeared to have wrapped up the match in the 57th minute when Menard Mupera scored what could stand out as the goal of the tournament as his well-taken shot gave Dube no chance at all.
The ball was written “goal” as soon as it left the veteran midfielder’s foot to whistle past a cluster of CAPS United players and rest at the back of the net.
To their credit, CAPS United continued fighting and were duly rewarded on the stroke of the hour when Tawanda Nyamandwe planted a firm header past goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura.
The heavens then opened up and some players struggled to control the ball after the pitch became slippery while the dark rainy clouds also limited visibility and the match was to be played under floodlights.
CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro said it was unfortunate that they failed to wrap up the game, especially in the first half where they had meaningful chances.
“We let it slip. I thought we had the game under control in the first half when we dominated and took the lead. After the break, we just had a few minutes of madness and they punished us. We managed to claw back into the game, unfortunately the game had to be decided on a penalty shoot-out.
“During the shoot-out we did not do as much as we expected and it’s tough luck to us. Unfortunately, we bow out of the tournament but we had tried very hard,” said Mangwiro.
CAPS United were very much upbeat of their chances of beating How Mine after they thumped the miners twice in the league this season, but yesterday the tables were turned against them.
“We wanted to go all the way to lift the title, but this is the end result. We needed this (Mbada Diamonds Cup) for a lifeline but we could not take it. But allow me to say thanks to the CAPS United family.
“Although we fell short, the support had been tremendous and let’s not look down because we have lost today’s encounter. How Mine came out fighting and we knew that they would do that,” said Mangwiro.
While it was all gloomy in the CAPS United camp, How Mine coach Philani Ncube was boasting that he made another giant-killing act. One thing for sure was that Taurai Mangwiro had done a lot as CAPS United played positive football and were well disciplined.
“Unfortunately, Philani Ncube had planned for them,” said Ncube.
Ncube believes How Mine are still going into the final against Highlanders as the underdogs despite having floored their city rivals in the league this season.
“It’s really going to be a tricky game because we beat them twice this season, just like CAPS United who had beaten us twice before. So they will want to turn the tables against us but it’s going be a Baghdad, it’s going to be total war.
“So far we have US$90 000 (for the losing finalists) in the pocket and we are going to fight for the extra US$40 000 against Highlanders,” said Philani Ncube.
Ncube also hailed his experienced troops, who include Herbert Dick, Mazarura, Mupera, Nqobile Mpala, Thembani Masuku, Gilbert Banda, Kumbulani Banda and Nyasha Mukumbi.
“There is no substitute for experience,” he said.
Now How Mine could be fancying their chances of playing in the Caf Confederations Cup as Highlanders are still facing a ban from Caf competitions.
T. Dube, G. Magariro, T. Samanja, A. Chivheya (T. Munyanduri 50th min), R. Kutsanzira, M. Muchenje, G. Phiri (T. Khumbuyani 50th min),, T. Nyamandwe (D. Rediyoni 85th min), M. Muchenje, H. Zvirekwi, L. Fiyado
E. Mazarura, Brighton Dube, H. Dick, M. Mupera, T. January, N. Mukumbi, Sizabuhle Dube (X. Dube 60th min) Warren Dube, T. Masuku (N. Mpala 57th min), Kumbulani Banda, Gilbert Banda. The Herald