By Eddie Chikamhi
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe reckoned yesterday that his team needed to pull up their socks in their quest to win the Chibuku Super Cup after the Harare soccer giants squeezed through to the quarter-finals of the tournament courtesy of a penalty shootout win over ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium.
The Green Machine were joined in the quarter-finals of the $500 000 tournament by Highlanders who put up a spirited comeback in a 2-1 win over Yadah at Barbourfields with second half goals from Mbongeni Ndlovu and Newman Sian-chali.
Simba Sithole had put the visitors ahead in the 48th minute.
Also through to the last eight yesterday were hosts Triangle who beat Shabanie Mine 4-2 in a penalty lottery following a goalless draw in regulation time at Gibbo.
The teams will be joined in the hat by Chapungu, Dynamos, Harare City, Herentals and Nichrut for the quarter-finals that have been set for the weekend of October 6-7 at venues to be advised. The draw date will also be advised.
At the National Sports Stadium yesterday, midfielder Wisdom Mutasa scored the important penalty for CAPS United to wrap up the game for the Harare giants, who completed the shootout with a 100 percent record.
Joel Ngodzo, Milton Ncube, Method Mwanjali and skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi were all on target. ZPC Kariba converted four of their kicks through goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya, Moses Demera, David Temwanjira and Ian Nekati. But leftback Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe was the fall guy after he sent his effort wide.
And, although there is nothing as a bad win, CAPS United coach Chitembwe was still not impressed by his team’s performance following 90 minutes of lifeless football.
Chitembwe said his team needed to work on their game as they prepare for tougher matches going forward.
“I am very happy with the result but, like I said before, it’s a process. I believe there are certain aspects of the game that I felt today we did not perform as much as we would have liked. But at the end of the day, we just give credit to the players.
They knew what was at stake, they knew what they wanted out of this game and what we wanted was obviously a positive result and as far as I am concerned we won the game and that’s more important,” said Chitembwe.
Although Makepekepe celebrated the win with much pomp, there was every reason for the few supporters at the giant stadium to feel short-changed during the course of the game as there was no meaningful play from both ends.
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi tried to breathe life into his side when he made a double substitution in the 57th minute by bringing in forwards David Temwanjira and Moses Demera.
But Makepekepe carved out better chances in the second half with Ngodzo, Mutasa, Chidiebere and Zvirekwi all getting into scoring positions. Yet the goal remained elusive. Referee Norman Matemera even waved away appeals for a penalty in the 75th minute following a handball in the ZPC Kariba box.
And sensing that the match would be decided by the shootout lottery, Chitembwe decided to bring in their penalty specialist goalkeeper, Chris Mverechena, in place of Prosper Chigumba.
“It was not by coincidence that Chris came in. It was rather by design. We wanted him in because we know what he is capable of doing especially when it comes to penalties. I am happy he showed his presence in goal. He is one kind of a guy who makes that goal look much smaller.
“It’s difficult to score against Chris, even in training. Those who scored today can attest that it’s not easy against him,” said Chitembwe.
But ZPC Kariba had their best chance with five minutes remaining when substitute Moses Demera almost capitalised on a defensive lapse only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper and then sending wide his effort from the rebound.
ZPC Kariba had their moments and coach Tamirepi felt his charges fluffed some good scoring opportunities to steal the match.
“We had one or two chances in the first half but the finishing was bad. If you look at the two teams, in terms of creating chances, we were better than CAPS United but when it came to the penalties they got it right and we got it wrong.
“Penalties are always difficult and it’s so frustrating losing a penalty shootout. We could have actually wrapped up the game inside the 90 minutes because we had more chances than CAPS United,” said Tamirepi.
CAPS Utd: P. Chigumba (C. Mverechena, 89th minute), C. Munzabwa (H. Zvirekwi, 46th minute), J. Jangano, M. Mwanjale, S. Makatuka, C. Kamhapa (B. Muzondiwa, 73rd minute), J. Ngodzo, V. Musarurwa, M. Ncube, W. Mutasa, A. Chidiebere
ZPC Kariba: T. Mawaya, B. Mutukure, M. Kunyarimwe, I. Nekati, S. Appiah, C. Muleya, D. Chakupe (M. Demera, 57th minute), B. Zuberi, T. Nyamandwe, F. Zekumbawira (D. Temwanjira, 57th minute) , T. Chamboko (P. Tafirenyika, 76th minute) The Herald