Caps United have said they are determined to put behind a turbulent week which saw them crashing out of the $1 million Mbada Diamonds Cup as they try to shift their focus to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
The 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday effectively ended the Green Machine’s dream of winning silverware this season.
While admitting that the loss to their perennial rivals was the biggest disappointment for his club this year, Caps United chief executive officer Maxwell Mironga said his team would have to pick up the pieces and move on.
“We really wanted to win the Mbada Diamonds Cup; it could have given us something to smile about this season. It was our hope that we would win the competition and participate in the Confederation Cup. We had done everything to prepare for the match, but unfortunately we lost in the first round,” said Mironga.
He added: “We have to shift our focus now to the league and try to pick as many points as we can in the remaining fixtures. All our remaining matches will be very tough because we will be playing teams which are either fighting for the title or trying to escape relegation. Our goal is to finish at least in the top four this season.”
The Green Machine, who are currently on eighth position on the log with 29 points, started the season on fire after winning their first three matches in convincing fashion, scoring 14 goals to establish themselves as early season title favourites.
However, they were to run out of steam as the season progressed and coach Moses Chunga was sacrificed, a decision that even worsened the club’s fortunes. After Chunga’s departure, the team tumbled further to within inches of the relegation zone
Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe was installed on the hot seat, but lasted only five games, four of which ended in defeats.
Former coach Lloyd Chitembwe was recalled to save the sinking ship, and save for the Mbada Diamonds Cup disappointment, he has restored a semblance of improvement at the club.
In his first match Chitembwe guided Caps United to a 2-0 win over Kiglon before losing 1-0 away to Hwange.
He recovered from that setback to beat Highlanders 3-1 before forcing a 1-1 draw in Mandava against FC Platinum a fortnight ago.
Chitembwe will, however, be put under the severest of tests when he come face-to-face with log leaders Motor Action, a side that is gunning for the championship.
The Mighty Bulls might have hit a bad spell in the league in recent weeks which saw them picking just seven points in their last five matches, but there is no doubt they will want to collect maximum points against Caps United to regain control of the league race.
A 2-1 win over Monomotapa in the Mbada Diamonds Cup last Sunday will be enough motivation for the Joey Antipas-coached side going into the match. Motor Action are on 42 points, the same number of points with second-placed FC Platinum, while Dynamos are breathing down on the necks of the leading two on 42 points.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League weekend fixtures
Saturday: Caps United v Motor Action (National Sports Stadium), Blue Ribbon v FC Platinum (Rufaro Stadium), Black Mambas v Highlanders (Morris Depot), Gunners v Masvingo United (Larfarge), Shooting Stars v Hwange
Sunday: Zimbabwe Saints v Chicken Inn (White City Stadium), Shabanie Mine v Kiglon (Maglas), Dynamos v Monomotapa (Rufaro Stadium)