HOW MINE . . . . . . .(1) 2
CAPS UNITED . . . . . . .0
HOW Mine’s fairytale start to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season continued as they beat Caps United to once again temporarily claim the top spot in a mediocre match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
How Mine shot to the summit with 16 points and await the result between Highlanders and Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
The gold miners made their intentions known as early as the sixth minute through a Wonder Sithole goal from inside the penalty box after a defensive lapse by Caps United left-back Asani Nhongo, which saw a cross by Edmore Muzanenhamo poked in by Sithole.
Caps United could have equalised in the 29th minute, but skipper Tendai Samanja’s spotkick was saved by How Mine goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura after anchorman Xolisani Moyo had handled inside the box and referee Bonamali Bwanali pointed to the spot.
High-riding striker Kuda Musharu then got his seventh goal of the season in the 65th minute with a header from a well-taken James Chitereki free-kick from the left, with defender Nhongo once again found wanting as the towering Warriors striker had been left unmarked.
The Green Machine dropped from position seven to nine following the loss, their second in Bulawayo following the 4-0 drubbing by Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube dared not to talk about his title aspirations saying it would not be easy staying at the top.
“It was a tense game. Caps were always supreme, but our strategy was to beat them on the counter-attack. But that is now history as we now focus on ZPC Kariba. We are just managing to rectify our mistakes from the first two losses and you never know what God’s plans are, but the championship will be a bonus . . . maybe after five years. It’s easy to be at the top, but it’s not easy to stay there,” Ncube said.
Caps United gaffer Taurai Mangwiro expressed worry about his side’s performance on the road, but said he was not despairing.
“ [This was] not the best of outings for us. We continue to struggle on our travels. We could have come back into the game, but we missed that penalty. And the effects of the game against Dynamos at the weekend were very stuffing and took everything out of us. We are, however, not despairing and hopeful to get that away victory which has been elusive.
We need to grind the result when we travel,” Mangwiro said.
How Mine had their physiotherapist Albert Mangezi sent off from the technical bench by Bwanali for foul language towards fourth official Hardly Ndazi in the 52nd minute.
How Mine: E Mazarura, J Chitereki, G Magariro, N Mukumbi, G Banda, X Moyo, T January, M Mupera, K Musharu (B Marere 87th minute), W Sithole (F Chirinda 58th minute), E Muzanenhamo
Caps United: J Muchambo, D Mukandi, D Chipala, S Makatuka, A Nhongo, T Samanja, M Muchenje, G Phiri (T Mangwendere 66th minute), P Zimunya (T Mukanhaire 46th minute), L Fiyado, D Chungwa (K Sibanda 80th minute)