By Mukudzei Chingwere
Chapungu . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
CAPS United . . . . . . . . . 2
Lloyd Chitembwe has expressed satisfaction with the shift that his charges have put in for the first time this season, with the CAPS United coach watching the Green Machine overcome struggling Chapungu in a drama-filled Castle Lager Premiership encounter at Ascot yesterday.
CAPS United will head to the mid-season break in fourth place and a massive 15 points behind leaders FC Platinum but a run of eight wins, five draws and four defeats has pleased the Green Machine gaffer.
Simba Nhivi and Brian Muzondiwa struck the CAPS United goals in the first half and the visitors hung on for the precious points that will make Makepekepe the best placed team from the capital at least at the half-way stage of the season.
Chitembwe returned to full-time duties at his club last week after recently suffering a family bereavement following the loss of his mother.
His team had to finish the game with 10 men yesterday following the expulsion of a centre-back Justice Jangano for a deliberate use of his hand to thwart a goal-bound Chapungu effort from going in.
Despite the 15-point gap between FC Platinum and CAPS United, Chitembwe feels his side deserves many plaudits given a number of key players that have left the club.
“We are talking of a team that has lost entirely 11 players on the pitch and this season alone we lost six players, Hardlife (Zvirekwi), (Phineas) Bamusi and others, all those players.
“For us to be still competitive and grinding results, that is very important and for these guys we need to applaud them for that,” he said.
“But I feel we still have a long way to go before we attain perfection, today we were not clinical as we should be and I thought we were no way near the way we normally play but we got the result we wanted.
“Today what was more important was the result not flair, what impressed me most is the character of the team playing with ten men, in modern game it is not easy to play with ten men but I think our game management was very good.
“My overall summation of the game is that it was a difficult game, the two goals gave us belief and confidence, the game plan was clear to capitalise on our wide areas and we were very effective today,” said Chitembwe.
Chapungu and Warriors goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, in a show of indiscipline, started the drama at Ascot when he stormed off the pitch just before half-time in protest over a referee’s decision to allow a second goal by the visitors when he felt he had been fouled in the build-up to the goal.
Veteran forward Philip Marufu tried in vain to bring back his teammate on the field of play and it had the intervention of his coach Rodwell Dhlakama who intervened and pushed him back for the match to continue.
Nhivi had opened the scoreboard before Muzondiwa sealed maximum points on the stroke of half-time.
It was Muzondiwa’s goal that sparked the drama provided by Shumba, a third choice for the Warriors at the COSAFA Cup tournament.
Five minutes after the breather, it was Jangano’s turn to provide his own drama when he used his hand to thwart an Allen Tavarwisa effort on the line, which had beaten the Green Machine goalkeeper Chris Mverechena.
Referee Arnold Ncube did not hesitate showing the defender a straight red card before awarding the hosts a penalty.
Brighton Mugoni stepped up but was denied from 12 yards by a brilliant Mverechena.
Chitembwe’s men came into the duel yesterday determined for maximum points to trim the gap between themselves and log leaders FC Platinum.
FC Platinum have taken the campaign by storm as they chase a second league title on the bounce, while Chapungu go to the break with a paltry 13 points.
Dhlakama was not amused with both the result and the behaviour of his goalkeeper which he described as wayward.
“Those are some of the things we need to work on as coaches . . . the mental aspect of our players we just need to go and talk to him, it sends a bad message but anyway we have to correct that as coaches.
“We did not utilise the chances that came our way and it is unfortunate we came out with nothing when we could have converted one or two chances that came our way.
“But that is our homework going into the break and we have to manage that going into the second half of the season,’’ Dhlakama said.
A moment of silence was observed before the start of yesterday’s match following the death on Saturday of Zimpapers Correspondent Lovemore Zigara who died in a car accident after the car he was driving was involved in a head-on collision on Saturday along the Gweru-Kwekwe Road.
He was 36.
Zigara is survived by his wife Michelle and two sons.
Burial arrangements are yet to be advised.
Chapungu:T Shumba, T Kumbuyani, E Chitauro, B Mbavarira, M Moenda, C Kwaramba, I Nyoni, M Mavuto, A Tavarwisa, B Mtigo (B Mugoni 46th min), P Marufu
CAPS United: C Mverechena, J Jangano, D Dauda, C Munzambwa, G Goriyati, C Kamhapa (D Mukandi 46th min), B Muzondiwa (P Moyo 57th min), V Musarurwa, J Zhuwawu, S Nhivi, K Nyamupfukudza
– The Herald