By Eddie Chikamhi
Caps United 2, 0 Ferroviario da Beira
CAPS United might have won this international friendly yesterday but coach Lloyd Chitembwe believes they still have a lot of work to do if they are to make a big impression in the Caf Champions League this year.
Goals from Abbas Amidu and Amon Kambanje either side of the break secured victory against the Mozambican champions at a wet National Sports Stadium.
Chitembwe said they engaged the Mozambicans to condition the players in terms of the physiological components of the game that include speed, strength and endurance.
“For now I am not really looking at performance. First things first. I am looking at the conditioning aspect.
“I think the endurance aspect is there but the element of speed is not yet there – speed of thought, speed of reaction as well as speed of execution.
“But, generally I am very impressed by the desire. I am very happy with the commitment these guys have shown. I am quite happy,” said Chitembwe.
Caps United made six changes as Chitembwe wanted to see as many of his players in action.
Veteran Leonard Tsipa, who won the Golden Boot last year, did not take part in the game.
Chitembwe also tried out the combination of Justice Jangano and Denis Dauda in central defence as he looks to fill the void left by the departure of Stephen Makatuka to South Africa’s AmaZulu during the off-season break.
The Mozambicans exposed a lot of loopholes especially in the opening minutes with striker Dayo Antonio and Mannuel Correia causing problems.
Twice goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who also had some jittery moments, was forced out of his line in the opening minutes as Makepekepe were saved by the woodwork when Correia burst into the box and unleashed a curling effort which beat the big ‘keeper.
Caps dominated the second half with the introduction of newboy Ronald Chitiyo, Cabby Kamhapa and Moses Muchenje who controlled the midfield with aplomb.
“I can’t really say much (about the new guys) because we know what they are capable of doing. I’m sure they are just doing what they are supposed to be doing. On that note I think I am very impressed.
“It’s a process. I am sure we still have three more weeks to work on the team. We are only two weeks in training and for the boys to show this kind of desire, hunger and great mental attitude I am sure these are great signs for us,” said Chitembwe.
Former Dynamos goalkeeper Willard Manyatera, who kept goals for the visitors, tipped Makepekepe to do well in the Champions League this year.
“We played well but I can say the quality of players between Zimbabwe and Mozambique teams is different. They were on top.
“Caps United are a good team and I think they will do well in the Champions League. We are also preparing for the same tournament and hopefully we will do well,” said Manyatera.
Caps Utd: E Sibanda, Z Bizeki, R Pfumbidzayi (V Musarurwa, 56th min), D Dauda, J Jangano (L Sithole, 46th min), D Chafa (C Kamhapa, 68th min), J Ngodzo (M Muchenje, 56th min), K Nyamupfukudza (R Chitiyo, 46th min), P Bhamusi (D Chungwa, 56th min), A Amidu (A Kambanje, 46th min) S Sithole. The Herald