Caps United . . . . . . 0
Monomotapa . . . . . .0
CAPS United survived a scare from in-form Monomotapa to earn a deserved draw in a tightly-contested Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro yesterday.
Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika Sports Correspondent
The draw was Caps’s second on the trot after they were held to 1-1 by Quelaton in the previous match.
Osborne Mukuradare, the hero who scored a hat-trick when Monomotapa defeated Highlanders 3-0 to end their 23-match unbeaten run in the previous match, had a subdued game.
Understandbly a lot was expected from him and he naturally wilted under the weight of expectations.
But still the 2008 champions exhibited a fabulous offensive display and were twice denied by the woodwork following good efforts from Russel Madamombe and man-of-the-match Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo in the first and second half respectively.
United coach Taurai Mangwiro was happy to earn a draw.
“It was an evenly-balanced match and a draw is a fair result,” said Mangwiro at the final whistle.
“We got a scare when Russel hit the upright and then Rooney (Chitiyo) hit cross bar, but in the end we got a point. Overall, we played well and created chances, but which we could not put away.”
Chitiyo admitted it was a tough match, but expressed disappointment to be denied by the woodwork.
“It was always going to be difficult because Mangwiro is our former coach and he knows how we play, but I think we deserved to win. I was disappointed my shot crashed against the bar. If I had scored that one, we would have won,” said Chitiyo.
Caps United went into the match missing key players — David Rediyoni, Tendai Samanja and Hardlife Zvirekwi and defender Asani Nhongo — through suspension.
But it was the Harare giants who dominated for long periods especially in the first half. Eddy Chapfungamoyo missed a good chance after 11 minutes only to shoot meekly at goal as they appeared on course to register a victory. Monoz were forced to substitute injured Jimmy Tigere for Brian Mapfumo after only 11 minutes into the match.
Defender Obey Mwerahari missed a headed opportunity off a corner kick by Madamombe on 18 minutes before Arnold Chivheya fired his long-range effort over the bar. In the 27th minute, Leonard Fiyado turned Tendai Ngulube and Nelson Meson, but was denied by Monoz goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi with a classy stop.
A minute later, Madamombe unleashed a shot which crashed against the upright.
But Chapfungamoyo could have thrust Caps United into the lead, but his speculative shot from about 40 metres out went narrowly over the bar.
Three minutes into the second half, United had a good chance, but Kutsanzira’s rasping shot drew a fine save from goalkeeper Mukandi before Chitiyo had fans up on their feet when his pile driver crashed against the underside of the cross bar on 52 minutes.