By Lovemore Kadzura in Rusape
A JOEL NGODZO second-half penalty was enough to separate visiting Caps United and Manica Diamonds in this drab Castle Lager Premiership football encounter at Vengere yesterday afternoon which saw the home side going for an eighth straight game without registering a win.
The win by Makepekepe kept their league title much alive as they are in contention with the likes of FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and Black Rhinos.
There was not much action in the first half as both sides resorted to pumping long balls upfront.
The only goal-threatening situation was created by Caps United in the 42nd minute when Manica Diamonds goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube spilled a Dominic Chungwa shot and the ball was met by Hardlife Zvirekwi who released a sizzling shot which Dube pushed out for a corner.
Caps United’s coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s half-time pep talk seemed to have inspired his boys as the Green Machine came into the second half a fired up side with slippery winger Phineas Bhamusi terrorising the Gem Boys with his mazy runs.
In the 56th minute a communication breakdown between veteran Method Mwanjali and goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba nearly backfired as the latter handled Mwanjali’s back pass and the referee Yasin Yasin awarded an indirect free-kick just inside the box but the hosts fluffed this glorious chance.
Bhamusi, who was proving too hot to handle for the Manica Diamonds defence, was later hacked down by former Caps United defender Carlton Munzabwa and the referee pointed to the spot.
And upstepped man-of-the-moment Ngodzo, who had a subdued game, to send Dube the wrong side for the only goal of the afternoon.
Caps United coach Chitembwe said he was impressed by the win and refused to be drawn into discussing about the prospects of his side winning the title, saying that’s the reserve of his team’s supporters.
“I think what is crucial is that we picked maximum points.
“The boys played well today, they put a lot of effort to get this result.
“We were technically very competitive. I do not like to talk like a supporter I just want to be very responsible as a person representing a huge constituency. I have to be very responsible with my sentiments,” said Chitembwe.
Johanisi Nhumwa, who was appointed the caretaker coach of Manica Diamonds following the unceremonious firing of Luke Masomere, said they will keep on fighting till they find a winning formula.
“We played very well but it was just one mistake which happened. They (Caps United) only got that chance and utilised it.
“The game was evenly balanced and we created our own chances which we failed to utilise, we were just unfortunate but I was impressed by the performance of the boys.
“There is always a bad spell in football which I think will come to pass,” said Nhumwa. The Chronicle