CAPS UNITED . . . . . . .(3) 3
CHIREDZI UNITED . . . . . 0
CAPS United recovered from the midweek heartache in Hwange to inflict a bruising on relegation strugglers Chiredzi United in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
First-half substitute Leonard Fiyado scored a brace, including a 45th minute penalty, to add on to Kenneth Bulaji’s early opener, in a match that had a false start.
The visitors played the second half a man shot after captain David Sengu was shown a straight red at the stroke of half-time for a professional foul on Bulaji.
The win saw Caps United moving two places up the log standings to third position with 33 points, two behind joint leaders ZPC Kariba and Dynamos.
As for Chiredzi, problems continue to mount for the Lowveld team who now need a modernday football miracle to survive relegation.
Eleven points from 19 matches, they are bottom of the log and their next fixtures are not at all enviable.
The win was a perfect response that Caps United coach Taurai Mangwiro had hoped for after their 2-1 defeat to Hwange on Thursday, which came in controversial circumstances.
However, Mangwiro was livid at the end of the match, verbally attacking Chiredzi coach Gishon Ntini who he accused of trying to snatch his job.
Reports suggest that Ntini last week approached the Caps United hierarchy offering his services.
“As coaches, we should work together in a very sound way, not the way he (Ntini) goes around backbiting others. I was under pressure and he tried to take advantage so the result is a special present for him.
“I’m not happy to be honest, it’s so sad. Last year when things were not going well at Triangle when he was still the coach there, I was the first person to call him to find out what was happening and what does he do now? He needs to have respect for others. If I’m in charge of the team, respect me for that time and if there is a vacancy, then you can make a move, not the way he goes about conducting his business,” said Mangwiro.
Ntini refused to talk about the issue, instead concentrating on yesterday’s events. He blamed the defeat on the local league administrators after his fellow members of the technical team were initially banned from sitting on the bench because they had no licences which are issued by Zifa at a cost of $200 each.
The stand-off delayed the match for about seven minutes, and that is likely to attract a fine from the PSL.
As if this was not enough, the jerseys the team used yesterday had no league sponsor’s logo, an offence which has a $25 penalty charged per player for the 18 players on the team sheet.
Back on the field of play, it was the home side that dominated play from the outset despite missing the services of the influential trio of Tapiwa Kumbuyani, Tendai Samanja and Honey Mutimunzeve through suspension.
They took the lead just after five minutes, but in fortunate circumstances.
Chiredzi goalkeeper Brighton Chipula made a mess of Bulaji’s effort and the ball crossed the line.The referee awarded a goal despite resistance from the Chiredzi players.
Fiyado, a 20th minute substitute for the injured Dominic Chungwa, then doubled Caps United’s lead 43rd minute when he turned in Tafadzwa Mahori’s cross.
It got even better for Fiyado and Caps United a minute later when they were awarded a penalty after Sengu pulled down Bulaji, who was clear on goal, and the stocky defender was shown a red card for his troubles.
Fiyado sent Chipula the wrong way from the spot. The Green Machine dominated the second half, exploiting spaces created by the void left by Sengu at the back, but could not turn the supremacy into further goals.
Caps United: T Dube, H Zvirekwi, G Nyirenda, S Makatuka, R Pfumbidzai, D Mukandi, M Muchenje (A Phiri, 82’), K Bulaji, N Alifandika (K Mukanhairi, 52’), T Mahori, D Chungwa (L Fiyado, 21′).
Chiredzi United: B Chapula, T Mutete (A Makumbe 80’), G Kwaramba, D Sengu (red card 45′), D Bakali, M Muneri, M Chinembeza, T Mupungu, D Temwanjira, M Gaki (K Nyamufukudza, 60′), S Musimbu (S Hadebe, 60’).