CAPS UNITED . . . . . . (1) 1
BANTU ROVERS . . . . . . .0
CAPS United recovered from the midweek defeat to How Mine to edge a battling Bantu Rovers in a Castle Lager Premiership football tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Caps went into the match desperate for a win following the shock 2-0 defeat to How Mine and started the match with customary gusto. They raced into the lead on 10 minutes when forceful striker Dominic Chungwa got to the end of a cross by Hardlife Zvirekwi from the right and drilled the ball past goalkeeper Brighton Chipula.
However, after that goal, their conviction appeared to be waning with Bantu Rovers clawing their way back into the match.
The visitors launched wave after wave of attack on the Caps United goal with Fortune Ncube coming close on 16 minutes only to direct his effort wide.
Veteran striker Obadiah Tarumbwa also missed a headed opportunity on 22 minutes as Caps defender Stephen Makatuka cleared the ball out of the danger zone. Four minutes later, Tafadzwa Kutinyu missed from three yards after a well-delivered long throw into the penalty area by Emberton Tshuma.
Caps United also missed a good opportunity on 33 minutes with Leonard Fiyado failing to connect a cross from Zvirekwi. At the stroke of half-time, Chungwa had his shot blocked by defender Zephania Ngodzo.
Bantu Rovers coach Methembe Ndlovu pulled off goalkeeper Brighton Chipula for Takunda Mutanga after 37 minutes.
In the second half, Caps United regained control of the match, but in the 65th minute, Tafadzwa Ngwena nearly equalised for Bantu Rovers, but missed the opportunity with a long range effort being tipped over by the keeper.
Ishmael Thindwa, who came in as a substitute on 60 minutes for the out of sorts Fiyado, had his effort superbly saved by the keeper on 86 minutes.
Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro was happy with the victory.
“We badly needed the points. I am happy with the win, but we have always said we want three or four goals. Look at the glut of chances, clear chances, but we couldn’t get them. I thought we got off to a good start.
We were on top, but after we scored, they started to control [the game], but we kept our tactical discipline,” he said.
His opposite number, Ndlovu said: “We have always been complaining about officiating, but today [yesterday] we are happy. It was just not our day. After they scored, we calmed down and controlled the match, but even though we didn’t get the goals, I am very proud of the team’s performance. They gave everything.”
The win lifted Caps United to seventh place on the league table with 14 points.
Controversial referee Ruzive Ruzive was the fourth official at yesterday’s match and was booed by the Caps United fans following his handling of the Dynamos-FC Platinum match last Wednesday where he awarded a disputed penalty to the Harare side.