By Lovemore Kadzura
Giants CAPS United finally remembered how to win when they fought tooth and nail to dismiss relegated Mutare City Rovers in a dull Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Vengere yesterday.
Unheralded 19-year-old Kelvin Ndebele was the hero for the visitors scoring the goal that decided the match in the second period.
It was CAPS United’s first win in seven outings which included four defeats and two draws. The diminutive teenager brought huge relief to Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe whose side had last tasted league victory almost two months ago.
Yesterday’s match started off on a slow tempo as both teams failed to settle down and resorted to pumping long balls upfront. But CAPS United striker John Zhuwawu could have scored two goals for both teams in the first half as in the 12th minute he almost conceded a spectacular own goal when he deflected a cross only for goalkeeper Chris Mverechena to save the situation.
Then at the other end of his goal Zhuwawu’s powerful header was cleared from the line by Rovers midfielder Joseph Chitavira.
Chitembwe’s half-time talk seemed to have rejuvenated CAPS United as they launched various attacks at Rovers’ goal.
The hosts’ Viali Tadzoka had to be stretchered off the pitch after a horrendous collision with Mverechena in the 50th minute.
Joel Ngodzo almost put Makepekepe ahead in the 57th minute when Rovers’ Alfred Chiname spilled the ball at the midfielder’s feet but he shot back straight at the goalkeeper who parried the ball out for a corner.
CAPS United’s goal finally came in the 65th minute when unheralded teenager Ndebele capitalised on Rovers’ defensive mix-up to slot home his debut Premiership goal.
In the 76th minute, the relegated Rovers could have scored an equaliser but Khumbulani Njovo headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Chitembwe hailed his players for adapting to the bumpy pitch which he said affected their game plan.
He also praised the performance of his new kid on the block Ndebele whom he said is destined for greatness.
“Credit to the boys who managed to adapt to the conditions of the pitch. We were forced to slightly change our style of play.
“We are known for passing the ball more but today we had to minimise those passes.
“Today I am very happy with Kelvin he got the chance and buried it. The boy has never looked back since we gave him the chance against Harare City. He is growing with each and every game.
“It is important for a club of this magnitude to post positive results. We are looking forward to keeping on winning our remaining matches,” said Chitembwe. Rovers coach Ndega Matsika said his side, despite being headed back to Division One, will keep on playing their best football. The Herald