HomeSportSoccerWhat went wrong for Caps United?

What went wrong for Caps United?


CAPS United got a reality check in their Castle Lager Premiership title fight on Sunday when they were routed by Highlanders 4-0 at Barbourfields Stadium to drop into 11th place, although they remain just four points behind the leaders.


Caps have won two, lost two and drawn two so far into the campaign and after beating Triangle United 2-1 on Thursday, they were expected to offer some resistance against Highlanders on Sunday, and maybe with some bit of luck, come up with a point.

Some tinkering with the team that beat Triangle could have contributed to Caps’ loss. Coach Taurayi Mangwiro benched Hardlife Zvirekwi and Moses Muchenje.

The two were brought in for Tendai Mukanhairi, who ironically came in for Zvirekwi on Thursday, while Muchenje came in for the injured Tapiwa Kumbuyani.

Pevington Zimunya did not play against Triangle and came in in the second half against Bosso to add some bite into the attack.

Dominic Mukandi started against Bosso while he was on the bench against Triangle and this seemingly ensured that Caps United lost their rhythm at Barbourfields.

It was a winning team that did not need to be changed, but perhaps the coach opted for a different formation, but that, at the end of the day, did not work at all.

That even the shortest player on the field of play Ozias Zibande could out-jump the defence and score, showed Caps’ frailties.

Caps played their best football in the second half when Muchenje, Zvirekwi and Zimunya were all in, but it was rather too late to find a way past Bosso keeper Arial Sibanda.

Not that they did not create chances. They did. Malawian international Ishmael Thindwa troubled the Bosso defence on one or two occasions while at one stage, Highlanders were saved by the upright after Sibanda had been beaten.

Dominic Chungwa was a constant threat, but was not getting enough feed from the centre where Eric Mudzingwa closed all zones. Tendai Samanja had to stay back and defend and there was no one picking up the loose balls to thread to the strikers.

But it is the manner in which Highlanders went about their business on the wings that destroyed Caps United.

Kuda Mahachi and Rahman Kutsanzira changed wings at any given time to keep Stephen Makatuka and Ronald Pfumbidzai on their toes and twice were caught off guard as Bosso broke from a Mudzingwa buffer zone in front of the defence.

Charles Sibanda, Welcome Ndiweni and Mudzingwa simply went into the pitch and played according to instruction from stand in coach Mark “Duvillard” Mathe: break their attack and release the ball to the wings on the second touch.

Or simply keep them (Caps defence) running.

There was no Peter Moyo or Mthulisi Maphosa to play to the gallery on Sunday, but a midfield trio that ensured Thindwa and Chungwa were starved.
In Mathe, Highlanders have an assistant coach who can make decisions.

He dropped Munyaradzi Diya, judging that he was not in the right frame of mind after the Chicken Inn howler. He entrusted the goal-scoring abilities to young Zibande and even brought in Cleopas Dube, who scored on his second touch, and 19-year old Mgcini Sibanda.

Now that is a coach who can make decisions and the Highlanders executive, led by Peter Dube, could, at least for now, be forgiven for not renewing Bekithemba Ndlovu’s contract after the former Warriors right back fell short against Harare City last season.

Match Day Seven Fixtures
Friday:  Harare City vs Triangle (Rufaro 1500, SS9)
Saturday:  Caps United v Black Rhinos, (National Sports Stadium 1500hrs SS9), Chicken Inn v How Mine (Luveve Stadium), Chiredzi v Chapungu (Chishamiso Stadium)

Sunday: ZPC Kariba vs Highlanders (Gwanzura, SS9), Shabanie Mine vs Dynamos (Maglas), Buffaloes vs FC Platinum (Sakubva), Hwange vs Bantu Rovers (Colliery)

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